Executive Order 2624—German Boats
It is hereby authorized that, through the Secretary of the Navy, there shall be taken over to the United States the immediate possession and title to the German vessels Kronprinz Wilhelm and Prinz Eitel Friedrieh, now at the navy yard, Philadelphia, the Liebenfels, now at the navy yard, Charleston, and the Geir and Loeksen, now at be naval station, Hawaii, and until further directions the Secretary of the Navy is ordered to operate and equip such vessels in the service of the Navy of the United States.
This order shall take effect from date.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
May 22, 1917.
Woodrow Wilson, Executive Order 2624—German Boats Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/275457