Our salvation was a short professional note clipped months before from the Proceedings . Written by a Coast Guard officer, it gave guidelines for estimating the cumulative effect of wind, waves, current, and coriolis forces on a drifting object. Plotting these vectors, we were off at our best four-engine speed on the surface, diving only once for an hour to escape after torpedoing and sinking the aircraft carrier Unyo and the tanker Azusa Maru . Thirty hours later in mid-morning we found the pitifully few survivors on rafts and wreckage exactly as predicted. By early afternoon, a typhoon was upon us. Any delay in our arrival caused by choosing the wrong course would have ended the chances of survival of the 32 men rescued by Barb and her wolf-pack partner Queenfish .
You were there for us, U.S. Naval Institute, when you were desperately needed, as you always have been for the sea services for 125 years. Well done—and Happy Birthday.
Admiral McNitt , a 1938 graduate of the Naval Academy, served as Superintendent of the Naval Postgraduate School and for 12 years was Dean of Admissions at the Naval Academy. He is the author of the recent Sailing at the Naval Academy: An Illustrated History .
General Henry H. Shelton, U.S. Army
The United States Naval Institute has contributed immeasurably to the strength of our nation's sea services during its 125-year history. It is the premier forum for thoughtful dialogue on the present and future course of the naval and maritime services, as well as a steward of our maritime history.
For me, the Naval Institute's centerpiece is Proceedings . I have long believed the journal's strength comes from the diversity in rank and station of its authors. I learn as much—or more—from contributing enlisted men and women, junior officers, and civilians as from senior military and government authors. I sense an overwhelming benefit to our Armed Forces that all viewpoints are welcome, no matter how controversial, provided the author is sincere (though sometimes refreshingly irreverent!), factual, and engaging. The frequent essay contests do much to provoke serious thought. In particular, the Naval Institute leads the way toward greater jointness with the Colin L. Powell Joint Warfighting Essay Contest.
I congratulate each member of the Naval Institute for your society's 125-year heritage of extraordinary contribution to the vitality and strength of our naval and maritime services. May the future offer more of the same earnest advancement of the knowledge of sea power.
General Shelton became Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on 1 October 1997 after having served as Commander in Chief, U.S. Special Operations Command.