Greetings! I found your website about 20 minutes ago and noticed chat concerning "Operation Mariner" conducted in the fall, 1953. I was a member of the flight deck crew of the USS Bennington, CVA-20, during that operation. At that time it was described as the largest peacetime exercise ever. From those days in the gloomy North Atlantic came the story "Mariner Miracle," in which a near-catastrophe involving many planes was averted. (They had been informed that they would ditch at sea and that U. S. submarine Redfin would pick up all who could make it aboard... So close, but it didn't happen!) This and other events made our duty aboard Big Benn unforgettable, of course -- enough, for me, that I recorded those episodes in a book "Back to the Bennington" : http://www.merriam-press.com/backtothebennington.aspx
Some of those involved in the chat had mentioned Operation Mariner, so thought that I would comment.
My respects to all.
Richard A. Clark, Paradise, California, USS Bennington, CVA-20, V-2 Div., 1953-54