“Gray diplomats”, a Greek political leader has called the ships of the Sixth Fleet. To see what he meant, one has only to watch a Midway class carrier, a division of cruisers, and a half-dozen destroyers steaming in column into the Bosphorus and anchoring before the admiring eyes of many thousands of Turks at Istanbul. These vessels represent enormous striking power; and when they enter the harbor of some distant nation, they instantly bring to the population there a new awareness of the United States, and a firmer trust in its policies. Such a visit builds up the confidence of a small nation under cold-war pressure; and it also constitutes a sober warning to any-unfriendly power that may have designs on the area.
The Versatile Sixth Fleet
By William H. Hessler