Sabine Pass Light Station During WWII

This story was written by William "Bill" Quick and is taken from an interview with Mrs Laura Goodson. This interview took place on May 19, 1977 in Freeport, Texas. Mrs. Goodson was the widow of lighthouse keeper Capt. James T. Goodson. Capt. Goodson had been the keeper of the Sabine Pass Light Station from 1938 to 1946 and retired from the service as keeper of the Brazos River Light Station in 1955.

As Mrs. Goodson related;

"There were strict orders from the 8th District Headquarters concerning a blackout on the station. Heavy black drapes were received to be placed on each window and door opening. This made it necessary to turn off all lights in the house at sundown so that the drapes could be opened for fresh air and ventilation.

Hoods were sent to be installed on flashlights to deflect the beam downward. When the station launch was used at night, (only in an emergency) the running lights on it had to be hooded.

These minor blackout precautions of the station were difficult to understand and were never explained. Even though the Jetty Light was ordered "turned off", the Sabine Pass Light was ordered as usual. It's brilliant steady beam shone as always through every night of the war.

First Avenue from the town of Sabine Pass to Texas Bayou was "off limits" to all civilians. This caused an inconvenience because the school bus used this route. As a result the Goodson school age children were transported across the pass in the station launch to the Navey Section Base in Sabine Pass. Even though this was a greater distance on the water the childred didn't complain because they were then chauffeured to and from school in a navy jeep."

Another observation discussed was the absend of visitors to the station during the war. Usually friends from town would cross the pass to visit and many area residents brought their landlocked relatives fora tour of the station. Hunters and fishermen would appear at all times of the day and night seeking the latest information on the weather and tides.

Mrs. Goodson said that she was saddened on hearing about the marsh fire that destroyed the living quarters at the station. She mentioned that it had been their home for eight years and there were many fond memories.