Memorandum by the Acting Liaison Officer (Notter)
In a telephone call at 5:05 p.m. today the Navy Department informed that instructions had been issued to the Tuscaloosa that when she had completed the task of rescuing the survivors from the Columbus she was to put in to the port of New York. While it is not possible as yet to say just when the Tuscaloosa will arrive in New York, it is likely that she will arrive late tomorrow afternoon.
Upon being questioned as to whether the Tuscaloosa had been released from her observation duty, I was informed that release from such duty was to take place not at a given hour but at a given longitude [Page 110]and that the calculations of the Navy Department were on an approximate basis, that that point would have been reached by about 1 o’clock today. It appears that instead of that longitude having been reached at that hour the Tuscaloosa was still engaged in observation at the time when the British destroyer Hyperion came into view and the crew of the Columbus began to scuttle the ship. If the Tuscaloosa had completed her observation duty she would have turned about to return to her base in Hampton Roads.