National Geographic : 1965 Feb
Split-second decisions are the specialty of a landing signal officer on Enterprise, the most respected "system" of the car rier's many landing aids. As each jet comes in to land, the LSO talks by radio telephone to the pilot. Should the ap proach pattern be faulty or the deck not clear-"foul deck"-he squeezes the pistol-like device in his hand, and flashing red lights on the deck wave off the aircraft. A flyer himself, the LSO knows that landing is an unforgiving business: It has to be right. Luminescent panels on coveralls help pilots spot him on the deck. KODACHROMESBY THOMAS J. every citizen 21 years old and over. It is a bargain at any price. At the time of Pearl Harbor the battleship was the backbone of the fleet. By the close of World War II the aircraft carrier had dis placed it as the ship of the line, the ship around which the fleet is built.* Now the Navy's goal is nuclear propulsion for all future fight ing ships of more than 8,000 tons. Even the South Pole Knows the Navy So I think it fair to say that the United States Navy of 1965 is like nothing any sailor any time and any place has known. One thing is certain about it, however: Its responsibili ties are greater than ever. To establish and maintain balances favor able to peace, it must exercise its strength 160 on all seas wherever free man is, or may be, challenged. It patrols the Atlantic Ocean, both north and south of the Equator; the Pacific from Alaska to Antarctica; the Indian Ocean and beneath the icy mantle of the Arctic Ocean; and most of the world's seas. Carrying out this vast task are 670,000 officers and men, 870 ships, and 8,400 air craft. The Navy is in its element on the water, above it, under it, or ashore. The United States Marine Corps, an integral part of the naval service, is tailored especially for amphibious assaults and landing operations. Organizationally, the Navy is divided into four strong numbered fleets. The Sixth and Seventh are normally stationed in European *See "New Queen of the Seas," by Melville Bell Grosve nor, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, July, 1942.