National Geographic : 1965 Feb
Favorite liberty port, Hong Kong spreads below Seventh Fleet sailors sightseeing atop Victoria Peak. Kowloon, hugging the mainland of Red China across the harbor, faces Technology is ever changing the Navy and its men. Now science increasingly investigates the sea itself. Oceanography embraces the last geographical frontier on earth. What changes will tomorrow bring? Will technology change the nature of the surface Navy, its air arm or submarine service? What does the Polaris missile portend? Some believe that the Polaris submarine and NATO's projected multilateral surface fleet of Polaris-carrying ships mean the car rier's day is waning. Most experts do not agree. Polaris is a total weapon to be used in total nuclear war and therefore, hopefully, never. Polaris gives the Nation additional nuclear deterrent beyond the dreams of just a few years ago. The fact that it exists is the pro tection it affords. But Polaris will not deter or prevent the "brush fire," or limited, war. This kind of war 186 is the order of today and probably tomorrow. To deal with it, the aircraft carrier remains vitally necessary. A reduction in this conven tional warfare capacity is a reduction in our total capability. What was the first thought when we were confronted with the problems of the Formosa Strait, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and the Gulf of Tonkin? The attack carrier strike force. In the Gulf of Tonkin incident last August, when North Viet Nam PT boats attacked the U. S. destroyers Maddox and C. Turner Joy, which were patrolling international waters, the planes from a Seventh Fleet carrier at tack force were able to strike back, damaging or destroying 25 patrol boats and 90 percent of the fuel oil depot that supplied their bases. This instant but restrained retaliation won us new respect in Asia.