ARMED FORCES: Big Ben's Homecoming

Aboard the Navy's 888-ft. aircraft carrier Bennington, Commander Michael Hanley, off-duty air group commander, slept peacefully through the usual clamor of the morning launching of jet fighters.

But as the last jet was shot off, Hanley snapped awake, suddenly aware of a strange hissing noise coming from the giant hydraulic catapult mechanism on the deck just over his head. He was hardly out of bed before he felt the soft concussion of a flash-fire explosion, then the rending blast of a second that shook Big Ben from stem to stern.

As Hanley fought his way topside, he saw steel bulkheads crumpled...

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