Nation: SILENCE FROM THE SEAMOUNTS

SUBMARINE duty in the U.S. Navy is known as "the silent service," and for grim reason. In two world wars, combat subs have cloaked themselves in quiet while stalking enemy prey, and even in the deepwater missions of peace, their nuclear-powered successors maintain infrangible radio silence for as long as 13 days at a time. Last week, with the almost certain loss of U.S.S. Scorpion, that silence appeared tragically unwise and probably unnecessary.

An eight-year-old 252-ft. attack sub of the Skipjack class, Scorpion was returning to Norfolk, Va., from a cruise in the Mediterranean...