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A letter from Dad

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I was on my first trip to the Antarctic aboard the USCG Cutter EASTWIND and I received this letter from my father who was also at sea at the time aboard a Farrell Line ship bound for South Africa.


The sea today no longer breeds men of my schooling that placed the ship and her needs first, ours when ever it fitted her mood. Remember one very important item - a ship is as good as the men that sail her and many times its apparent only a few of her men are proud but these few are the ship. God never made a lonelier soul than a true seaman he has an undaunted faith in his ship, he spends long hours alone searching the fog or black distant horizon, he becomes the eyes of the ship. No one knows better than I all the hours I've paced the bridge of an endless memory of ships but each lives within within me, each taught me more of life and each made me stronger till I learned a ship was the man, he gave it his soul. This is a real seaman the ship is his home, his soul, his faith in return she gives him strength and a deeper understanding of himself.


I had asked him in a previous letter what he thought a real seaman was and being a man of few words this was his response. My Dad was a pre war merchant seamen and served during WW II, had been torpedoed once off Greenland and survived My Dad's birthday was November 11, 1918 Armistice Day and every year I take this letter out and re-read it. I like to think that I filled his definition of a true seaman.

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Amazing letter and fabulous to have! Thanks so much for sharing. You must be proud of your Dad.


If you ever want a custom hand-embroidered (no machine) patch, I'm open to commissions! Pay or trade!
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Oh, tarry and be strong; Tell God in prayer. What is thy hidden grief; Thy secret care.

Yet, if no answer come; Pray on and wait: God's time is always best; Never too late.

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My grandfather sounds like your dad. My grandfather served in the Merchant Marine from 1928-30. Here is a picture of him on board his ship the SS Yomachichi when he was about 20. Its the only picture of him in the Merchant Marine.


I never knew a tougher man. He was born and raised on the mean streets of Brooklyn at the turn of the century and survived a bout with the Spanish Flu, which killed his father. Fiercely loyal and unceasingly brave. I suspect your dad was the same.







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This was posted on LinkedIn this morning. I think that Admiral Farragut's thoughts are much like those of your father's.


"08 November 1864 – Rear Admiral Farragut, writing Secretary Welles, expressed his deeply held conviction that effective seapower was not dependent so much on a particular kind of ship or a specific gun but rather on the officers and men who manned them: . . . I think the world is sadly mistaken when it supposes that battles are won by this or that kind of gun or vessel. In my humble opinion the Kearsarge would have captured or sunk the Alabama as often as they might have met under the same organization and officers.

The best gun and the best vessel should certainly be chosen, but the victory three times out of four depends upon those who fight them. I do not believe that the result would have been different if the Kearsarge had had nothing but a battery of 8-inch guns and 100-pound chase rifle. What signifies the size and caliber of the gun if you do not hit your adversary?”


Thank you for sharing this letter with us.



Never under-estimate the power of prayer.



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