ARMED FORCES: Through the Ice to the Pole

Two hovering helicopters dumped bright flowers on the dented and travel-worn U.S. nuclear submarine Sargo last week as it churned back to its Pearl Harbor home base after a 6,000-mile round trip to the North Pole. When Sargo's boyish skipper, Lieut. Commander John H. Nicholson, 35, told his tale, it was clear that the warm welcome was hard earned by cold courage.

Early on the morning of Feb. 9, Sargo's sophisticated SINS (for Ship's Inertial Navigation System) picked out the Pole. Up poked the sub's massive sail, i.e., superstructure, lifting with it...

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