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Recently the NC-i made the trip from Rockaway to Washington, about 350 miles, in 5 hours and 20 minutes. The flight from Washington to Hampton Roads, 150 miles, was covered in 2 hours and 15 minutes, and the trip from Hampton Roads to New York, 300 miles, took 4 hours and 20 minutes.—Official Bulletin, 2/12.
Extension Of Naval Stations.—The President's proclamation takes title to lands for navy at Great Lakes and Puget Sound, and site for marine corps at Quantico.—Official Bulletin, 15/11.
Navy Yard Expansion Rapid, On Large Scale.—Expenditures totaling $193,164458 were made during the fiscal year 1918 for work performed by the naval bureau of yards and docks in preparing for and prosecuting the great world war.
Rear Admiral C. W. Parks, chief of the bureau, says in his annual report that a large part of the bureau's activities during the year pertained to improving and equipping navy yards for the construction of ships and in supervising the extension and improvement of 36 private plants to which financial aid was given by the government.
In some cases, he says, the navy will own these private plants and in others the owners will take the plants back at an appraised value. Naval training camps were established at 39 different places at a cost of $45,437,000, exclusive of hospitals. These camps will provide winter quarters for 164,875 men.
Extensive improvements were made at the various naval ammunition depots and magazines. At St. Julien's Creek, Va., a temporary minefilling plant was installed at a cost of $525,000. Chief Parks says that a very large expansion took place at the Washington Navy Yard and the capacity of the ordnance plant was largely increased. That work cost approximately $6,000,000.
The program to quadruple the powder output at Indian Head, Md., Admiral Parks says, involves very extensive public works improvements. Plans and specifications were prepared for approximately $3,500,000 worth of improvements and contracts placed. To facilitate transportation of the enormous quantities of materials required, a 13-mile railroad connection to the Pennsylvania railroad line is being constructed.
During the year 735 contracts for public works were awarded for amounts aggregating $84,700,000. A very large amount of money was saved, says Admiral Parks, by purchasing material at government prices and turning the same over to the contractors to be worked into place. Notwithstanding war conditions, says he, the pre-war navy standard of materials, inspection and workmanship was well maintained.—Washington Evening Star, 12/12.
Cuts Eagle Boat Order.—The Navy Department has directed that only 60 out of the 112 eagle boats ordered from Henry Ford shall be completed, the House Naval Affairs Committee was informed to-day.
Until recently the navy had planned to complete the entire eagle boat program, despite signing of the armistice.—Baltimore Evening Sun, 7/12.
"fords" At Submarine Base.—The first three Ford eagles to be built for the United States Isavy, numbered 1, 2 and 3, have arrived at the submarine base here after a long trip through the St. Lawrence River, down the eastern coast and through the Cape Cod Canal.
Three other eagles are said to be ice-bound in the Great Lakes. The eagles 1, 2 and 3 are on their way to China under their own power.—Evening Star, 18/12.
Progress Ok Building Program.—The American Navy will number a total of 1291 vessels, including 40 battleships and 329 destroyers, on July 1, 1920, according to a statement prepared by Rear Admiral Griffin, Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, for the House Naval Committee, and made public to-day.
This statement shows that when war was declared there were 364 ships in the navy, while on November 1, ten days before hostilities ceased, there were 777, exclusive of privately owned yachts and other vessels taken over for patrol service. The greatest increase was 300 in submarine chasers. The increase in destroyers was 41, to a total of 92, and that of submarines from 44 to 79.
Only two eagle boats had been completed on November 1. Ninety-eight others were contracted for, but Rear Admiral Taylor, Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, has informed the committee, it became known to-day, that the Navy Department has given orders that only 60 of the vessels be completed. Keels for 80 of the eagles have not been laid, but material for most of them has been fabricated.
Only two battleships were added to the fleet during the war, and only one would be added between this time and July 1, 1920, Admiral Griffin said. Six others, however, actually are under construction, and two, the Tennessee and the California, are approximately half completed. Work on three others is yet to be started.
Admiral Taylor informed the committee that contracts were yet to be placed for 29 ships, which have been authorized. They include 2 battleships, 12 destroyers, 10 submarines, 2 destroyer tenders, a repair ship, a transport, and a submarine tender.
Work has not yet started on any of the five battle cruisers authorized in 1916, the laying down of these vessels and other major craft having been deferred because of the demand for destroyers during the war. Ninety-five destroyers authorized during the war now are more than half completed.— New York Times, 7/12.
From The President's Address To Congress.—I take it for granted that the Congress will carry out the naval program which was undertaken before we entered the war. The Secretary of the Navy has submitted to your committees for authorization that part of the program which covers the building plans of the next three years. These plans have been prepared along the lines and in accordance with the policy which the Congress established, not under the exceptional conditions of the war, but with the intention of adhering to a definite method of development for the navy. I earnestly recommend the uninterrupted pursuit of that policy. It would clearly be unwise for us to attempt to adjust our programs to a future world policy as yet undetermined.—Congressional Record, 2/12.
The Secretary's Recommendation.—Secretary Daniels strongly urges the continued upbuilding of the navy, in accord with the policy adopted in 1916, by authorization of another three-year program, costing $600,000,000 and embracing 156 vessels, in his annual report, made public to-day.
"When the peace terms are signed and the agreement between all nations cements the blood-bought victory for permanent peace," the Secretary says, "the detailed story of the navy's participation will afford a new cause for gratification and give a greater thrill of pride when the world fully knows the many instances of splendid courage which could not be fully disclosed during the struggle and must be left for the historian to record."—Washington Evening Star.
The Navy Board's Relief.—Rear Admiral Badger, chairman of the general board of the navy, said yesterday to the House Committee on Naval Affairs:
"The general board believes that under the present world conditions, and the conditions likely to obtain in the future, the United States Navy should steadily continue to increase. Ultimately it should be equal to the most powerful maintained by any other nation in the world. Year by year development should be made as consistent with the facilities of the country, but the limit above defined should be attained not later than 1925."
A few years ago a deliverance of this tenor from such a source would have been received with derision by all Little Navalites. They would have characterized it as grounded in mere selfishness. We should have been told that here was an effort to increase the size of the navy in order to increase the number of "fat" berths and the pay of all in the naval service. Moreover, we should have been warned that a larger navy would mean a keen "hunt for trouble," and that trouble would be found. And it was such talk that bore a part in the starving of the navy for a long period—too long for the country's good.
We shall hear little, if anything, of such talk to-day. The navy has just demonstrated its value and importance. Hastily increased in size for war purposes, it performed its part in the war so as to merit and receive high praise both at home and abroad. Secretary Daniels, in his annual report to Congress, has just voiced home sentiment, while Viscount Grey, in a public speech, has just voiced British sentiment. He expressed to an English audience night before last "great appreciation of American assistance in the war," and declared that without that assistance on the sea the Allies could not have won.
In the matter of the navy, therefore, Congress has now before it the recommendation of the President, that of Secretary Daniels, that of the general board of the navy, and can consider at its proper value the testimony of this English statesman, who, though not in office now, was in office when the war began, and has kept close track of all war performances by his own as well as by other countries.
The result should not be in doubt. What is asked for the navy Congress should grant. The war has committed us to large expenditures for some years to come; and none will be better approved by the people than those in the interests of equipping us with a thoroughly adequate sea power in both of the great oceans. In a word, the American Navy, for American purposes, should be the largest in the world.—Washington Evening Star, 13/12.
Record Of Notable Achievements.—The report of the Secretary of the Navy to Congress tells of achievements in ordnance, especially the notable work of the 14-inch naval guns on railway mounts on the western front, which hurled shells far behind the German lines, these mounts being designed and completed in four months.
An account is given of the mine barrage in the North Sea, one of the outstanding anti-submarine offensive projects of the year, thus closing the North Sea. A special mine-loading plant, with a capacity of more than 1000 mines a day, was established by the Navy Department. A star shell was developed which when fired in the vicinity of an enemy fleet will light it up, make ships visible and render it an easy target, without disclosing the position of our own ships at night. The bureau of ordnance, under the direction of Rear Admiral Earle, is stated to have met and conquered the critical shortage of high explosives which threatened greatly to prolong the time of preparation necessary for America to smash the German military forces.
The work of the bureau in completing a successful Davis non-recoil aircraft gun is declared to be "a great milestone in aircraft armament," and there is given an account of a heavy aeroplane bomb developed for anti-submarine warfare, and the protection of merchant ships by increased armament, naval gun production being stated to have kept pace with war needs, while the smokeless powder output was increased. In the future, it is stated, American dreadnoughts and battle cruisers will be armed with a 16-inch gun, making these the heaviest armed vessels in the world. Depth charges are stated to be the most effective anti-submarine weapon, and American vessels were adequately armed with that new weapon.
Great strides in torpedo production have been made. A new long-range proving ground on the Potomac, near Machodoc Creek, Va., has been acquired. Training in gunnery and engineering has been carried out with eminent success.
"The navy that flies" is given special reference, it being stated that the expansion of naval aviation has been of gratifying proportions and effectiveness, many air stations being established at home and abroad. Naval aircraft has been a big factor in the war, and "aircraft has come to stay," says Secretary Daniels, who plans for its permanency and development.
When war was declared the navy numbered 65,777 men. On the day Germany signed the armistice this had increased to 497,030 men and women. Referring to the excellent work done by the women who enlisted, the Secretary says: "A woman who works as well as a man ought to receive the same pay, and that policy has been carried out by the navy."
When war was declared there were 197 ships in commission, now there are 2003 vessels in service, and they have been furnished with trained officers and men, "and how fit they were all the world attests." The value of the Naval Reserve is emphasized and the evolution which brought this into being as an essential part of the navy is recounted. From a small enrollment when the war broke out, this grew to 85,473 by April, 1918, and now numbers about 290,000.
In reference to the three-year building program, Secretary Daniels says:
"The day is not far distant when the world will witness an end of competitive building between nations of mighty weapons of war. In the peace treaty there will undoubtedly be incorporated President Wilson's proposal for a reduction of armament 'to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.'
"Navies will still be needed as an international police force to compel compliance with the decree of an international tribunal which will be set up to decide differences between nations. Naval vessels will have large peace tasks of survey and discovery and protection in addition to police duty of an international as well as of a national character.
"Inasmuch as the United States is the richest of the great nations, and has suffered less in war than any of the allied powers, it will devolve upon this country to make a contribution to the navy to preserve the peace of the world commensurate with its wealth, its commerce, its growing and expanding merchant marine, and its leadership in the council of free people. It is therefore our duty now, not, indeed, to enter upon any new and ambitious naval program, but to go forward steadily upon the lines of naval increase to which the country committed itself by the adoption three years ago of the first far-reaching constructive naval program in the history of the republic.
"I have recommended to this Congress the adoption of another threeyear program substantially like the one authorized in 1916. But the 'victory of the Allies and the United States should, and will, I sincerely trust within a few years make it no longer necessary for any nation under whip and spur to burden its taxpayers to undertake to build, in competitive construction, bigger fighting ships and iriore of them than any other nation can construct."
Recital of Accomplishments.—As concrete evidence of what was accomplished, the report shows that on October 1, there were 338 United States naval ships abroad, with 5000 officers and 70,000 enlisted men, or a greater force than the total strength of the navy when war was declared, while the American fighting craft steamed an average of 626,000 miles per month in the war zone. This did not include the cruisers and battleships on escort duty.
The major naval operation of the war so far as the United States is concerned is given as the convoying of more than 2,000,000 troops to Europe without the loss by enemy action of a single eastbound transport This accomplishment, the report says, will stand as a monument to both the army and the navy as the greatest and most difficult troop transporting effort which has ever been conducted across seas.—Washington Evening Star and New York Times, 7/12.
Daniels Reports On Navy's War Work.—Naval Record Unprecedented. —The record made abroad by the United States Navy, in cooperation with those of Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan, is, he says, without precedent in allied warfare. He pays a high tribute to the efficiency of Admiral Sims, Commander-in-Chief of American naval forces in European waters; of Rear Admiral Rodman, in command of the American battleships with the British fleet; of Vice Admiral Wilson in France, Rear Admiral Niblack in the Mediterranean, of Rear Admiral Dunn in the Azores, of Rear Admiral Strauss in charge of mining operations, and other officers in charge of various special activities.
Our forces in European waters, he says, now comprise 338 vessels, with 75,000 men and officers—a force larger than the entire navy before the war. The navy, in its operations, he says, has "covered the widest scope In Its history, naval men have served on nearly 2000 craft that plied the waters, on submarines, and in aviation," while " on land, marines and sailors have helped to hold strategic points. Then regiments of marines have shared with the magnificent army their part of the hard won victory, wonderfully trained gun crews of sailors have manned the monster 14-inch guns, which marked a new departure in land warfare," while naval officers and men in all parts of the world did their full part in the operations "which mark the heroic year of accomplishment."
While the destroyers have led in the anti-submarine warfare, the 406 submarine chasers, of which 335 were dispatched abroad, are given credit for efficient aid, as are also the American submarines sent to foreign waters.
The creation of the Naval Overseas Transportation Service and its growth in less than a year to a fleet of 321 cargo-carrying ships, with 2,800,000 deadweight tonnage, is reviewed, and it is pointed out that this service now requires 5000 officers and 29,000 enlisted men, and is rapidly growing as new ships are completed by the Shipping Board and placed in commission.
Convoying the Troops—The transportation of 2,000,000 American troops 3000 miles overseas with the loss of only a few hundred lives and without the loss of a single American troopship on the way to France is considered an unparalleled achievement, and Secretary Daniels gives testimony of the record made by the cruiser and transport force, under the direction of Rear Admiral Gleaves. From a small beginning this fleet expanded to 24 cruisers and 42 transports, manned by 3000 officers and 41,000 men,