Aircraft carriers guard against enemy submarines and act as hangars and runways at sea, although their missions may be as varied as those of the Wasp, the astronaut recovery vessel. Some of the ""proudest ships in the fleet"" are reviewed (earning E for efficiency); another chapter considers how aircraft carriers work, including the newest, the U.S.S. America, as tall as a 23-story building. The first nuclear-powered ship, the Enterprise, may be ""a forerunner of tomorrow's combat ships."" Bergaust quotes from seamen and admirals to pinpoint the feelings carriermen share, and appends a key to name sources for navy ships. Clear, unimaginative photographs, simplified technical text: just adequate.