NAVY: Bridge to the Orient

On a tiny Pacific island huddled within the circumference of a broken coral ring, a detachment of white-clad U.S. sailors last week went through a time-honored ceremony. The bugles blared "To the Colors," the flag was run up, the watch posted. The Navy's new station on the Midway Islands, first pier in the tenuous 5,860-mile water bridge between Pearl Harbor and the Philippines, was in com mission.

Skipper of Midway was no rear admiral but a Navy commander. But its importance to the U.S. was far out of proportion to the three stripes on...

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