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Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Vice Admiral William S. Sims, Commander, United States Naval Forces Operating in European Waters


Cablegram Received September

7 1917.           

Origin    Opnav, Washington  Ser. No. 355

Via       N C B 15 D                            Date No. 15007

Copies to C. of S., J.V.B., B.A.L.1

[Action referred to:]


From : Chief of Naval Operations.

To   : Commander of Naval Forces in European Waters.

Opnav 355.    Following extract from report submitted by Commander Cruiser Force2 who has charge of transport operations on thisside on subject of insufficient escort for Group five and six on the westbound trip are forwarded to you for your information and action.3 Quote on the last return voyage of MALLORY from France the escort of PASTORES TENEDORES <TENADORES> and MALLORY consisted of two French destroyers and yacht KANAWHA II period This escort left the transports at end of twenty four hours or about three hundred miles from port period On the return voyage sixth group the escort furnished were three yachts which at end of about twelve hours were compelled to return to port on account of stress of weather Unquote Inform Department what steps will be taken to overcome this situation as the sinking of any of ships used to carry troops will seriously handicap movement of troops to France. 15007.

     Admiral BENSON.

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG45, Entry 517B. Identification numbers in upper-right corner: “3/C/J”.

Footnote 1: Sims’ Chief of Staff, Capt. Nathan C. Twining, his aide Cmdr. John V. Babcock, and Cmdr. Byron A. Long, head of the Communications Section of his staff.

Footnote 2: RAdm. Albert Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet.

Footnote 3: Sims responded three days later that he was working “to establish a regular outbound allied convoy for all vessels leaving Bay of Biscay ports of France and our vessels will be placed in this convoy insuring much greater protection and a larger number of escorting vessels.” See, Sims to Benson, 14 September 1917, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B.

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