ARMED FORCES: A Voyage of Importance

The sleek steel hull of a nuclear submarine moved easily and rapidly through the quiet depths, its reactor-driven geared turbines purring, its coffeepots perking, its jukebox playing, its 116-man crew caught up with an unusual sense of excitement. On the submarine's closed-circuit TV screens, the crewmen could see an upward-pointed camera-eye view of an ice pack, lit up by the Arctic's 24-hour-a-day sunlight, like a translucent cloud racing by. In his cabin, a slim U.S. Navy commander wrote out in longhand a couple of messages—one addressed to President Dwight D. Eisenhower,...