Mail Bag! A Flynn State of Mind!

26 Jul

This comes from our chum Claudia Raab and expresses a great idea:


Hi David,

Hope all is well.

A couple of days ago I had an interesting conversation with a friend who also loves to travel to the U.S. and she told me that she has succeeded in visiting all States at least once.

After this talk I started wondering how many States our man Errol might have been to, and whether this might even be a topic for the EFB.

I can think of some but I’m sure the Flynnthusiasts from the EFB know a lot more.


Alaska – USO tour in 1943

Arizona – filming for Virginia City (Sedona, Painted Desert, visiting the Grand Canyon and probably quite a few bars in Flagstaff) and Without Incident at Old Tucson Studios


California – that’s a no-brainer ;-)

Colorado – premiere of Silver River in Denver










Kansas – premiere of Dodge City












Nevada – premiere of Virginia City, boating/fishing on Lake Mead with Sean

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico – filming of Rocky Mountain around Gallup, premiere of Santa Fe Trail

New York – he visited NYC quite a few times

North Carolina

North Dakota



Oregon – fishing on the Klamath River (although that might have been in Northern California)


Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota



Utah – skiing at Alta



Washington – stopover in Seattle on his way to Alaska (not sure about this; I think I read it somewhere but can’t find any evidence)

West Virginia






Thanks, Claudia!

— David DeWitt


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This is an excellent idea, Claudia! Fun and productive research! Thanks for thinking of it!

Let me try an ‘A’, an ‘A’ for Arkansas.

Having done baseball research in Hot Springs, Arkansas – a premier spa and gambling destination for the rich and famous for many decades – I’ve searched to see if I find evidence of Errol in town. Never could, but I have come across reports that he once stayed at the “Palace of the Ozarks”, pictured below. When Errol reportedly stayed there, it was known as the Lane Hotel.…

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Lets ‘C’, Claudia. ‘C’ for Connecticut. Though unknown to me all the ports Errol sailed into during his maiden voyage of Sirocco in 1938, we know he started in Massachusetts, ultimately reaching Miami. If he took the course taken by most on such a trip, i.e. the Intracoastal Waterway, he would have likely travelled through and even stopped at most, if not all, states on the Eastern Seaboard. It’s doubtful, imo, that he would have sailed often on the high seas. Rather, he more probably stopped for sightseeing, provisions, and/or ship maintenance at ports in every or nearly every state,… Read more »

And then there was this! … humorously suggesting that Errol may have once even entertained going coed at Connecticutt College for Women, in the famous seaport town of New London, near Mystic. My God, the press would have had a field day with that!! Enrollment would have soared!

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Awesome, Statesman Tim! Looks like we’ve got the whole East Coast covered!

As far west as west goes, there is also this for Hawaii:

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Here’s some history on a couple of Errol’s many trips to Florida, Claudia.

The Fleens in Florida, on the Sirocci

The Baron in Boca

From where I just wrote this, I can see several of the Boca Raton locations depicted in the second link above.

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Idaho, Claudia. It happened in Sun Valley several times for Errol.…

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Unfortunately, C does not stand for Connecticut, since Errol was not personally aboard the Sirocco when it shipped from Boston to Miami. The correct series of events are as follows: When Errol was visiting Boston, Mass, he purchases the Sirocco on Jan. 25,1938. It was named the Karenita at the time and he had the name changed there to Sirocco. He then made arrangements to have it delivered in March after Boston’s winter weather. It ended up in the Fogal Boatyard in Miami harbor for repairs and refitting in mid-March. When Errol and Lili are both in Miami on March… Read more »

I would like to add a few random events to help fill in some of the alphabetical blanks. I think the dates help to pinpoint Flynn’s whereabouts and make it a little easier to locate newspaper and magazine articles. Alabama – Part of the War Department’s 4th War Loan Bond Drive has Errol flying into Mobile and Birmingham, Alabama from Jan. 24 to Jan. 26, 1944. Florida – Flynn’s new yacht, Sirocco, is delivered to Miami in mid-March of 1938 from Boston. He leaves on a Caribbean vacation with Lily on April 20th. Georgia – Errol has a stopover in… Read more »

Excellent info, Ada. The John Alden yacht in Boston, however,was named “Avenir”, not “Karenita”. Correct? The Karenita was Errol’s original Sirocco,, from Sydney.

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There are many different sources regarding the original name of the Sirroco, but I have trusted the following information after researching a variety of sources over the years. The ship was built in 1929 and christened the Karenita. In 1930 it is renamed te Avenir and in 1933 changed to Simoon. Then it is changed to Watchettein in 1934 and then in 1936 the name is changed back to Karenita and remained that way when sold to Flynn in ’38. I believe there is an article in the blog, a while back, by one of the members who had visited… Read more »

This link hopefully gets us to several posts on the EFB about the Sirocco:…

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Confusing indeed, Ada, particularly as contemporaneous accounts of Errol’s purchase refer to the “Avenir”, not any of the other names mentioned. Here’s one example from Motor Boating:…

Also, from the post you linked, there’s this, quoting Errol:

“I had heard about the Caribbean, its splendour, comparable, it was said to the Pacific that witnessed me, and we went to Boston to buy a sailboat. And immediately, I set off along the Atlantic coasts.”

Errol Flynn

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While we’re on this subject of Siroccos, Ada, do you have any info or opinion whether “Barbary” is Errol’s original Sirocco? Barbary is what I meant to say when I said Karenita earlier.


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Seeing the state of things, will enter 3 ‘M’s:

Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri

In Maryland, Errol is said to have once raced an Alpha Romeo around the driveway at Robert Mitchum’s Belmont Farm Estate. Below is an aerial of the Eastern Shore estate.

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On a bond drive tour during WW II, Errol and Victor Mature visited a Naval shipyard in Biloxi, Mississippi,

Errol also participated in a patriotic drive in St. Louis, with Anthony Quinn and Gene Tierney. Here’s this great account of that great event from the very distinguished EFB Author and Authority, Karl Holmberg:…

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Wow, you guys are awesome!

How could I forget about Idaho?

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Hats off to Ada, Claudia. It’s tough to top Ada … Keep those timely dates and corrections coming, Ada Klock! … I can’t say for sure, Claudia, but Errol very likely took the Twentieth Century Limited more than once between Grand Central and La Salle Street Stations, even possibly on his first trip to America, when he travelled from New York to Chicago on his way to Hollywood with a Warner Brothers escort. If he did, or even if he took less prestigious rail service, he would have travelled through New York, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The Twentieth Century was… Read more »

Similarly, Claudia, Errol very likely road the Super Chief between Chicago and LA. “The Super Chief ran through Kansas City, Missouri; Newton, Kansas; Dodge City, Kansas; La Junta, Colorado; Raton, New Mexico; Las Vegas, New Mexico; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Gallup, New Mexico; Winslow, Arizona; Seligman, Arizona; Needles, California; Barstow, California; San Bernardino, California; and Pasadena, California.” As explained in the article linked below, it was known as the “Train of the Stars”.… So, restating the above for our purposes, that would give us Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and , of course, California. For the record, Errol… Read more »

Super Chief

“The Train of the Stars”

“The Grand Hotel on Rails”
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The Twentieth Century Limited

“The Most Famous Train in the World”

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Great additions, Tim! I’ve often wondered what places he might have seen from a train. Probably some that I’ve already visited.

Santa Fe:
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What great photos, Claudia! Did you take these? Tremendous. Like Flynn, you’ve been to more of America than most Americans. I’d bet you and Errol have traveled by and to many, many of the same sites, all over the country, and world. He most certainly got his kicks on Route 66 now and then, here and there. In and around Gallup, New Mexico, for example, and a host of places from Chicago to LA (mire than 2000 miles all the way) Two very prominent friends of his recorded Route 66 in ’47, when it first released. The King first and… Read more »

Thanks Tim. Yes, I did take those pictures – glad you like them! And thanks for the link to that video. Some of the places look very familiar. I’ll be traveling in the Southwest again in September/October, visiting Gallup, Flagstaff, Sedona and some other places. I sure hope to find some traces of Flynn again!

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Flynntastic, Claudia!

If you make it to St. Louis, a major stop on old Route 66, you can stay where Errol stayed, at the magnificent Chase Hotel. Errol may have had a few at the famous Zodiac Lounge the night before his world class prank on Tony Quinn (story linked above in the discussion regarding St. Louis.)…

“Chase was the Place”

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Awesome, Tim! I’ll make sure to put this on my bucket list!

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You are definitely a very cool Flynnmate, Claudia. Thanks to Karl’s post linked above in the Missouri comment, we know that Buster Wiles confirmed that Flynn stayed at The Chase to do the Blood Drive radio show Quinn and Gene Tierney. So that, coupled with the facts that St. Louis was the Gateway to the Weshlt and a Majjor Route 66 location, makes The Chase a premier place to begin a westward chase along the Errol Flynn Trail. From a recent Route 66 Exhibit in St. Louis: “St. Louis is the largest city along Route 66 between Chicago and Los… Read more »

This is one of many articles that appeared in the Miami papers in March of 1938 regarding the shipping of the Sirocco from Boston, as well as Flynn’s arrival and plans (attached).

I think we can eliminate the shipping in January. But, it is very possible that Errol flew to Miami in January, after the purchase, to make arrangements there to receive the yacht upon it’s arrival in March.

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When you say “shipped”, do you mean “sailed”, Ada?

So, is this account of events by Errol concerning his purchase of (Avenir/Sirocco II) true or not true? .

« … we went to Boston to buy a sailboat. And immediately, I set off along the Atlantic coasts ».

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Gentleman Tim, Regarding the Sirocco being shipped from Boston to Miami. According to my best information, there was no shipping of the Sirocco from Boston to Miami in January of 1938. Several articles in Florida newspapers in March of 1938 provide sufficient confirmation that the Sirocco left Boston in March and arrived in Miami in March. Not in January. And Errol was not on board in March at any time during shipping. Therefore, other evidence will have to be found for Errol’s visit to the eastern seaboard states on the State of Mind list of states. The quote from the… Read more »

Aok, Ada. Assuming Errol did not “immediately” leave with Sirocco out of Boston to Miami as he stated or very strongly implied, how then did he travel to Miami? “I set off along the Atlantic Coasts” is not a phrase many, if any, would use to describe a commercial air flight. So, if it wasn’t by sail on the Sirocco, nor by air, it had to be by car or train. In the 1930’s, the rich and famous most always traveled from the Northeast to Florida by rail, in luxury Pullman coaches, most likely on the Seaboard Air Line, but… Read more »

I believe it would very worthwhile to dig for more as to Errol’s exact whereabouts during this timeframe between traveling east to purchase of the Avenir in Boston and the arrival of the Sirocco in Miami. There should be more evidence, especially as Errol’s doings at that time were of very significant interest to the public and press. This winter timeframe, between January and March was (and still is) an extraoedinarily popular time for the rich and famous to vacation along the coast in Southeast Florida, most particularly from Palm Beach to Miami. Perhaps he was hiding in Boca Raton… Read more »

During his Hollywood heyday, Errol once visited Wisconsin, in the Coulee Region of Wisconsin.…

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On Wisconsin! (And maybe Minnesota, too)

During his Hollywood heyday, Errol once visited the Coulee Region of Wisconsin.…

He lodged only a mile or so from the Minnesota state border, so he could have easily visited Minnesota on this same vacation, but I do not know that he did.

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Thank you David. Quinn sounds so tongue-tied!.

The Chase was the Place:

“The Chase`s acclaim went beyond this city: The weekly national radio broadcasts of “Saturday Night at the Chase“ brought the music of the bands and entertainers performing at the Chase Club to listeners around the country. And “The Harry Fender Show,“ hosted by the former vaudevillian and Ziegfeld entertainer, brought music and celebrity talk from the hotel`s Steeplechase Room into living rooms all over America.”

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I have not found corroborating evidence, Claudia, but I’ve read that Errol was at the Kentucky Derby in 1956, betting on “King of Swords”, possibly even indiscernibly present in one of this film’s crowd scenes at the race:…

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Another great addition, Tim! Kentucky – the first state I ever visited, thanks to relatives who lived there. I wish I had known about this back then – it might have made my stay more exciting!

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