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Catalog Number 2002.3.32
Object Name Memorandum
Accession number 2002.3
Description A memo from the commanding officer of the U.S.S. Orizaba to Mr. Elder B. Switzer, dated July 16, 1919 while in Brest, France.

Memo reads:
This memorandum is prepared for your general information, and particularly in view of the fact that you may not be received my telegram informing you that the ship would arrive in Brest on this day.

It was found necessary, on account of the loss of time that is unavoidable in the middle of the leave period, to break the ship's company in to three parts, in order that all might have the privilege of spending four days in Paris. The first leave party will consist of one hundred and forty-eight men. This party will leave on Thursday evening, and will arrive in Paris at 9:00 a.m., Friday morning. I will return leaving Paris Monday evening, about 7:30 p.m. The second and third parties will then proceed to Paris leaving forty-eight hours apart. This arrangement insures that all of the men will be on board ship by Friday, 25th instant, except the third leave party of sixty-two men, which is due to be on board ship Saturday morning, the 26th instant.

Each party will be in charge of an officer while traveling to and from Paris on the Train. After arrival in Paris, leave parties will not be under the supervision of the officers except in a very general sense, and will, therefore, be free to go where they please. This is the point where your work begins.

I have divided the leave parties into comparatively small squads, as you will note by the papers accompanying the leave parties, copies of which will be handed to you. Each squad has a squad leader, one of the petty officers of the ship. The idea of this organization is to facilitate any general sight seeing [sic] that may have been arranged by you. It may also serve to facilitate the lodging of the men at night it[sic] case it is necessary to send them to various places. The first leave party, which was originally organized in two parts with the idea that these parts would leave on two successive days has been assigned the sum of four hundred dollars for such disbursement as you may deem pertinent. The second and third leave parties have each been assigned the sum of two hundred dollars for a similar purpose. I must leave the
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disposition of this money to your discretion, requesting that you obtain receipts for expenditures wherever practicable, so that there may be later an accounting for the eight hundred dollars, or so much of it as you expend. The chief petty officers have not been assigned definitely to squads, but are presumed to join the squads at discretion in order to be able to take advantage to the utmost of such trips as so on as may have been arranged.

I, of course, do not know how successful you have been in your arrangements, and I do not want to upset your plans in any manner, but if it can be arranged without difficulty, I would like to have the final day of the leave devoted to the trip to the battle front, if you have been able to arrange this trip. This is something that all of the men will undoubtedly desire to take advantage of, and consequently there will be a[sic] automatic rounding up of the leave parties as a result of this trip. It is, of course, possible that the trip may take to[sic] much time to trust it to the last day, it being essential that the leave party catch the train for Brest in the evening of that day. My though has been that one day of the leave might be devoted to points of interest in Paris, one day to points of interest in the vicinity of Paris, one free day for shipping and so forth and finally one day for the trip to the battle front, leaving all evenings free for attendance at theaters and other places of amusement.

I fully realise[sic] that plans must be tentative, so far as the ship is concerned. As at present arranged, the first party is a sort of double party, consisting of one hundred and forty-eight men; the second party, leaving on the evening of Saturday, the 19th instant, of seventy men; the third party m leaving at noon, the 21st instant, of sixty-two men, each party, as stated about, being in charge of an officer The Commander will be one of the ten officers leaving at the same time as the first party and will be able to clear up any details for you that may not be clear from this memorandum. I am sending four hundred dollars, to cover the expenses of the second and third parties, in the hands of Pay Clerk Fletcher. This money will be made accessible to you upon the arrival of the officers in question.

[Bears the signature of the officer.]

Captian, U.S. Navy,
Commanding.
Date July 16, 1919
Year Range from 1919
Year Range to 1919
Subjects Leaves
Tourism
Battlefields
Travel
Itinerary
Expense accounts
Money
Trains
Entertainment
Soldiers
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