Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Commander Walter A. Smead to Rear Admiral Robert S. Griffin, Chief, Bureau of Steam Engineering

Chronological Copy.                           File No. <4-3-1>

Cablegram Sent September 6 <7>, 1918  JGM

To Opnav, Washington (Buseng)                 Serial No. 4294

Prep. by A-3                      SX D.R.

LC#1 & Clear       

4294 For Admiral Griffin from Smead QUOTE Aviation headquarters have been shifted to London Buseng and Bucon1 representatives will remain here few days to inquire into general situation and to await representatives Sanda.2 Referring cable about square radiators leaking from Whiting3 believe trouble not serious Going to Killingholme4 tomorrow to investigate and will cable definite report Monday. After consultation with Cone5 have reduced spare engines for seaplanes here to twenty per cent on account most urgent military needs Strongly urge the same reduction be made in United States. Estimate this will release in United States about three hundred thirty engines for shipment abroad. Recommend they be shipped with utmost dispatch to Eastleigh6 for use in land planes for offensive work by Navy. There are three thousand five hundred completed planes constructed to take Liberty Engines now ready here without engines.7 In addition to above request that every available engine be shipped to Eastleigh as soon as possible. Six hundred engines are now badly needed for offensive work against enemy. Two hundred more will be required from September production Consider this matter most urgent. Request that following rough estimate from information available be checked and full correct statement with latest estimates be cabled: By September 7th there will have been delivered approximately nineteen hundred Liberty engines, six hundred eight HS 1 type boats8 and one hundred seventy seven H 169 type boats. For the next four weeks approximately five hundred fifty Liberty engines will be manufactures also two hundred HS 1 boats and forty H 16 boats. Eleven hundred fifty five engines necessary to equip all boats manufactured through September seventh with twenty percent spare engines Three hundred thirty six engines necessary to equip all boats manufactured from September 7th to October 5th with twenty percent spare engines Fourteen Hundred ninety one total engines necessary to equip all boats manufactured through October 5th with twenty percent spare engines. One hundred thirty engines are being used for manufacturers schools and experimental work. Sixteen hundred twenty one grand total engines necessary by October 5th. Twenty four hundred fifty grand total engines that will be produced by October 5th. Difference between grand totals equals eight hundred thirty engines available by October fifth. Following is recapitulation of plane shipments abroad which is correct to August twenty seventy: One hundred ninety six HS 1s delivered or enroute Two Hundred thirty five engines necessary for one hundred nientysix HS ones with twenty percent spares. Ninety seven H 16s delivered or enroute Two hundred thirty three engines necessary for ninety seven H 16s with twenty percent spares. Four hundred sixtyeight Grand total engines needed for all planes delivered or enroute with twenty percent spares six <hundred> fiftyone total engines delivered or enroute One hundred total engines at seaboard for shipment abroad Seven hundred fiftyone grand total engines assigned for use abroad Difference between grand totals leaves two hundred eighty-ghree engines available for release here. Following is recapitulation of plane ships in United States: Four hundred twelve HS 1 boats delivered Four hundred ninety four engines necessary with twenty percent spares. Eighty H 16 boats delivered one hundred ninetytwo engines necessary with twenty percent spares. Six hundred eighty six total engines needed for all plan<e>s with twenty percent spares One hundred thirty engines needed for schools experimental work and manufacturers. Eight hundred sixteen grand total engines needed in States all purposes, eleven hundred forty nine Grant total engines delivered for use in States Difference between grand totals leaves three hundred thirty three engines available for foreign shipment. Following is estimate of production for next four weeks colon Five hundred fifty engines that will be produced from September 7th to October 5th. Three hundred thirty six engines necessary to equip estimated production of two hundred HS 1s and forty H 16s with twenty percent spare engines Difference between five hundred fifty and three hundred thirty six equals two hundred fourteen engines available for next four weeks production for foreign shipment. Summary of engines available: Two hundred eighty three from foreign service Three hundred thirty three from States two hundred fourteen from next four weeks production Eight hundred thirty grand total engines available by October 5th UNQUOTE 013207 4294

Sims     

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. The handwritten date is confirmed by the time/date stamp following the text. The message is typed on a “Cablegram Sent” form and much of the initial information is repeated on each of the four pages of the cable.

Footnote 1: Bureau of Construction.

Footnote 2: Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.

Footnote 3: Lt. Kenneth Whiting, commander of the First Aeronautic Detachment. Whiting’s cable has not been found.

Footnote 4: An airbase in eastern England.

Footnote 5: Capt. Hutchinson I. Cone, Aide for Aviation, Staff of VAdm. William S. Sims.

Footnote 6: An airbase in southeastern England.

Footnote 8: Curtiss HS-1L flying boat, a Navy seaplane used for anti-submarine patrols.

Footnote 9: Curtiss H-16 Flying Boat.

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