Created 3-Apr-24
Modified 3-Apr-24
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**“Fear is something that you have to learn to manage,” says Capt. Hugh Stephens, as he reflects upon the harrowing voyages that marked his service in the Merchant Marine during World War II. Fear divided his shipmates more clearly than branch of service. The Navy gunners and the brave Merchant Seamen who assisted them were peers, brothers in arms. Fearless men fighting for their country. Of course, young Hugh did have an advantage in conquering his fear. Like the rest of the new merchant seamen, he was too inexperienced to know what he should be afraid of, which made his terrifying experiences seem commonplace. The older unlicensed seafarers understood the dangers, and it made the trip more harrowing for them.

Hugh would get his first lesson in managing his concern when he compromised with his mother regarding joining the war effort. His deceased father, a World War I veteran, had impressed on his mother the horrors of war. She was not eager to see her son endure the type of combat that her husband had experienced. So, his mother agreed to let him join the Merchant Marine, believing it to be safer than military service. They did not know that one in every 26 Merchant Seamen would be killed during the war, making it among one of the most dangerous occupations.**

Categories & Keywords
Category:People
Subcategory:Professions
Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:Captain, Hugh, Marine, Merchant, Navy, Stephens, armed, forces

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