The U.S. Navy, the Neutrality Patrol, and Atlantic Fleet Escort Operations, 1939-1941
Final rept. 1990-1991,
NAVAL ACADEMY ANNAPOLIS MD
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Although the United States was officially neutral until 7 December 1941, the U.S. Navy entered World War II on 5 September 1939 when the CNO, Admiral Harold R. Stark, initiated Neutrality Patrol operations in the Caribbean and in waters 200 miles off the coasts of North and South America. During 1940, the Navy conducted battleship sweeps deep into the Atlantic to deter Axis surface raiders and U-boats from entering the Neutrality Zone, and also moved toward a solid Anglo-American alliance, one vehicle being information exchanges between OpNav and the Admiralty. The negotiation of the ABC-1 Agreement in March 1941 increased Anglo-American collaboration. Atlantic Fleet patrols became more aggressive and the fleet doubled in size. By September, the Atlantic Fleets Support Force, in conjunction with the Royal Canadian Navy, was ready to commence escort-of-convoy operations, and that same month, Atlantic Fleet destroyers escorted their first convoy from Halifax to Iceland. A handful of convoys were attacked, but the Atlantic Fleet used these experiences to fashion an effective escort-of-convoy doctrine.
- Naval Surface Warfare