National Affairs: I, and I Alone

For almost a month every Academy man in the fleet had squirmed with embarrassment while square-jawed Captain W. D. Brown stubbornly maintained that he was just about the last man in the world to blame for running the battleship Missouri aground in Chesapeake Bay. As a naval court of inquiry dug into the humiliating mishap of the Mighty Mo, Captain Brown insisted that "I was utterly alone as far as any assistance from my team was concerned" and caught up in an "unfortunate chain of circumstances."

The circumstances were unfortunate, all right. Until the...