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Page 13 text:
1011 II113.-I1C1 SHS
Operation lnland Seas seems likely to be
recorded in peacetime Naval annals as an
exercise in the realm of the spectacular. Or-
iginally conceived to celebrate and dramatize
the opening of the Binational St. Lawrence
Seaway project, an event of historic signif-
icance for both Canadian and American com-
merce, the inland cruise of Task Force 47
exceeded its planners' most optimistic hopes
and expectations. The cruise to "The Lakes"
opened the heartland of America to major
combatant vessels, enhanced understanding
of the modern Navy's mission in a land-locked
and still widely-skeptical Mid-West, and won
for the Navy national notoriety and wide-
spread public interest and acclaim.
But if the presence of the inland fleet
had an impact upon the hundreds of thou-
sands who turned out to watch its movements
and visit its component ships, the generosity
and almost unbelievable enthusiasm of these
citizens made an equal impression on the
officers and men-the saltiest veterans as well
as the fuzz-cheeked youngsters-who witnes-
sed it. Many openly admitted fhat seven
weeks in the Lakes had represented the sum-
mut of adventure and excitement of their
From our point of view, which more
neutral observers have subsequently sub-
stantiated, the lakeside citizenry focussed their
curious attention on the majestic MACON,
whose size and sleek grace were unequalled
by other members of the force.
And just as MACON overshadowed the
Task Force, so the activities and skills of its
ebullient, acid-tongued, fiery, and proud skip-
per, Captain I. C. Wylie, dominated the ac-
complishments of other participants. Fittingly,
the first and last pictures of this section catch
this haughty seaman in familar poses.
ln the following pages we have tried to
recapture pictorially both the highlights of
and the spirit or atmosphere of this seaway
safari. From the pomp and formality of every
official visit to the abandoned gaiety of the
countless parties and dances, from the
anxious, tense navigation through tube-like
passages to the carnival aura generated by
the crowds of visitors in each port, both the
occasionally intense anguish and the ample
pleasure of this adventure are represented
below. We leave to each of you the task to fill
from your own vivid recollections of those
weeks any inadvertent gaps in this flashback
to the summer of l959.
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