View Full Version : Happy Halloween from the Pacific, 1945

10-31-05, 11:43 AM
Published 31 October 05
Happy Halloween from the Pacific, 1945
By Lt. Col. Heath L. "Mac" McMeans (USMCR, ret.)
Special to World Defense Review

EDITOR'S NOTE: Heath L. "Mac" McMeans is my 83-year-old uncle who shared the following 'sea story' with me in a personal email. It is such a perfect Halloween tale, I asked for and received permission from him to share it with the readers of World Defense Review. — WTS

I have just finished reading a "thriller horror" book by Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park, entitled Prey. The book is about nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, etc., the latest craze in the scientific field. It is the scariest book, to me, I have read since I read Dracula by Bram Stoker.

And let me tell you the story about reading that.

It was 1945, and I was a Marine 2nd lieutenant on an LST headed for the invasion of Japan.

I found a copy of Dracula in the wardroom, and having nothing else to do except watch the dolphins race the ship, I went to my quarters, which I shared with a Navy Lt. JG [Junior Grade]. He was about two weeks senior to me, so I, of course, got the top bunk.

Anyway, I settled down to a long night of heavy reading.

All that could be heard was the hum of the ship and men moving about on the steel deck two feet over my head.

I was at the part where Dracula was doing his thing – sucking blood, bats were flying around, etc. – when someone dropped a wrench or something on the deck above me. The hair on my neck was already standing up from the book, and I sat straight up in the bunk, banging my head on a steel beam, which hurt like hell.

I suppose it was the deep-down thought of being shot at and maybe being killed that caused such a reaction. It really almost scared the living you-know-what out of me.

I have not read Dracula ever again. I was ashamed of myself. Here I was, a 2nd lieutenant of Marines, fresh out of OCS, going to fight those Japanese SOB's, and just think, I let a book of fiction scare me like that.

I felt like jumping ship in the middle of the Pacific.

— Lt. Col. Heath L. "Mac" McMeans has been sharing his wonderful sea stories with family and friends for years. He and his wife, Josephine Smith McMeans, live in Birmingham, Alabama.


10-31-05, 03:50 PM
Drifter...... Any good Marine knows that the top rack abord ship is the best one to have. Evin more so on a LST. Nobody puking on you.