Three and a half months after Captain William D. Brown had run the battleship Missouri aground at 15 knots in the familiar waters of Chesapeake Bay, a Navy court-martial meted out his punishment. Captain Brown, 47, was dropped back 250 numbers in his grade, thus putting him that many rungs lower on the promotion list. Captain Brown's sentence had been reduced from 300 numbers by the reviewing admiral and the case would get further review. But practically, as far as any further advancement went, Captain Brown had himself run hard aground.

Commander John R. Millett, 38, the Missouri's operations officer,...

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