The Ghost of the USS Zaca

During World War II, there was a desperate shortage of ships with trained crews to rescue any potential aircraft returning from long missions abroad that may crash into the sea with unpredictable weather patterns.  And so when the USS Zaca was acquired by the Navy it was used as a supplementary rescue ship, rescuing pilots and others in the ocean.  But as it struck land for the final time, the Zaca shortly fell out of commission after a trip through Hollywood and began its long final voyage of entropy.  But some have said that not everything aboard the Zaca left it, including the spirit of one of its previous owners, the actor Errol Flynn.

Flynn was the ship’s final captain before it finally washed up on the shore and was passed on to private hands.  But as the years passed by, and witnesses started seeing a figure walking around amid the vessel’s decks, they soon considered that it might be haunted.  As the years rolled by, soon the figure became seen more and more, and the witnesses all said he bore a striking resemblance to Errol Flynn.  It was perhaps no coincidence that the ship had been previously owned by Flynn and even spent quite a bit of time aboard the loyal vessel after its glory days when it rushed to save lives in the war.

Flynn was always seen as a swashbuckling hero on the silver screen mastering such roles as “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” and “The Charge of the Light Brigade” when he was seen with his long-time costar Olivia de Havilland.  Of course the biggest classic film he ever had a role in, “Gone with the Wind” was not the one he would be most remembered for, but a classic nonetheless where he portrayed Rhett Butler alongside Scarlet O’Hara.

Tragically, the Zaca was involved in one of Flynn’s final orders of business in Vancouver in 1959.  After Flynn arrived in Vancouver to lease the yacht to George Caldough, he suddenly became ill and was taken to a doctor.  Rather than seeking bed rest, Caldough and Flynn engaged in heavy drinking.  When Flynn was seen next he was dead – struck down by a heart attack.  Despite efforts to revive him, it seemed a lost cause.  Days later, Flynn was later interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery.

Nonetheless, the Zaca became a priceless relic of Hollywood and World War history still haunted by the past and, if the legends are to be believed, the ghost of one Errol Flynn.  Some have questioned why Flynn would choose the Zaca to haunt rather than his home estate or the sets of the pictures that made him famous.  Perhaps Flynn is reconsidering the transaction at the end of his life.  Perhaps he is hoping to live out the glory days of his acting career.  Or perhaps he is simply living out death in the way he is remembered most, as a swashbuckling adventurer.