USS Zaca

Built in 1930, the Zaca is a wooden yacht commissioned by Templeton Crocker.

Templeton spent much of the next 10 years traveling the world on his boat. He was a scientist and left much of his research to the California Academy of Sciences.

During World War II, the Zaca was acquired by the United States Navy and used to rescue the crews of downed American planes until 1944.

Actor Errol Flynn purchased the Zaca in 1946. He owned the vessel until his death in 1959.

The yacht sat docked and rotting until 1965 in Villefranche, France.

In 2008, Roberto Memmo purchased the Zaca and completely restored the vessel.

Visitors to the Zaca claim that it is haunted by the ghost of Errol.

Errol was born June 20, 1909 to Theodore and Marelle Flynn in Tasmania, Australia.

He often described his mother’s family as seafarers and had a lifelong fascination with boating.

In 1926, he was expelled from school for theft. When asked about it later in life, he would claim instead that he had an affair with a female employee of the school.

Errol found a job as a junior clerk in Sydney, Australia, but was fired for stealing money.

His first film role was In the Wake of the Bounty in 1933 and sparked his interest in acting. He went to Europe to study acting shortly after the film was released.

He tried his hand at stage acting, but was fired from the Northampton Repertory after throwing a female stage manager down the stairs.

Errol’s performance in Murder at Monte Carlo led to a trip to Los Angeles, California and a contract with Warner Bros. Pictures.

He married Lili Damita in 1935. The marriage lasted 7 years. The couple had a son named Sean. Sean was an actor, as well, before becoming a journalist. Sean was declared dead in 1984 after disappearing in Vietnam.

In 1938, Errol starred in his most famous role as Robin Hood in The Adventures of Robin Hood.

In 1942, two 17 year old girls accused Errol of statutory rape. He was acquitted in 1943, but his reputation was forever tarnished.

That same year he married Nora Eddington. The marriage lasted 6 years.

He married Patrice Wymore in 1950 and the couple remained married, even if just on paper, until his death.

Warner Bros. terminated their contract with Errol in 1953. He made 35 films in the 18 years he was under contract.

Errol became known for living a hard and fast life. He drank and smoked and was popular with women. The expression “in like Flynn” became popular after his acquittal of the statutory rape charges.

Errol was just as fast and loose with his finances and often found himself broke.

Needing to make some quick money, Errol flew with 17 year old Beverly Aadland to Vancouver, British Columbia in October 1959 to lease the Zaca to a man named George Caldough.

Before he could catch his flight home, Errol complained of pain in his back and legs. He was taken to the home of a doctor who was friends with George. The doctor treated Errol for pain and told him to rest.

Errol lost consciousness in a bedroom of the doctor’s home and was taken by ambulance to the hospital where he died on October 14 at the age of 50.

His official cause of death was heart failure with cirrhosis of the liver as a contributing factor.

His ghost is said to be seen walking the deck of the Zaca at night.

A video summary of this week’s post can be found at

Sources/Photo Credits

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