Cruising the Ocean Blue with You Know Who

17 Apr

With this tab I hope to intiate and create with fellow EFB authors a compendium of information, records & images documenting Errol’s cruises on commercial passenger ships throughout his life. Here are some initial names of, images, and information concerning these vessels, with timeframes Errol was on board – to be expanded upon here and in subsequent posts/comments:


S.Y. Aurora (Per MWWW, 1908 or 9)

S.S. Berrima (1922)

Montoro (September of 1927) (October of 1929)

Kokopo (commercial schooner) (April of 1933)

SS D’Artagnan (May of 1933)

Empress of Asia (Spring of 193)

Fusham (Chinese packet boat) (Spring of 1933)

SS Compiegne (June of 1933)

SS Paris (November of 1934)

RMS Queen Mary (April of 1937)

SS Matsonia ( October of 1938)

SS Lurline (November of 1938)





— Tim


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  1. Tim

    April 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    SS D’Artagnan: Errol on Board, May of 1933, in Malaysian seas. This ship later became a Vichy French warship (renamed the Teiko Maru and manned by Japanese) and was sunk by the USS Puffer, in the South China Sea, near Borneo. (Please don’t tell the heirs to Sir Charles Pigham Higham, or they’ll have to add another chapter to Chuckie’s “biography” of Herr Flynn, which you can find in the fiction section of many local libraries.)…


  2. Tim

    April 17, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    SS Compiegne – A French Line Mail & Passenger Paqueboat: Errol On Board in June of ’33.


  3. Tim

    April 17, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    Empress of Asia: Errol On Board, Spring of 1933: Manila to Hong Kong…


    • shangheinz

      April 18, 2014 at 8:09 am

      Honolulu, Baby! And yes, Lili was right, Errol liked to travel alone…errol-honolulu.jpg

      • Tim

        April 18, 2014 at 10:12 am

        Ahoy & Aloha, shangheinz! Awesome!!

        I don’t know whether it was the weather, scenery, exotic girls in sarongs, or the leis (there may be some redundancy in those choices!) that Errol loved most, but something kept luring him back to Hawaii!

        Mahalo Me’Heartie!


  4. Lollie

    April 18, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Fantastic research. :)

  5. Tim

    April 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    The schooner “Kokopo”*: April 1933: Bismarck Archipeligo.

    No photo of Kokopo found* – unless it’s unknowingly one of the unidentified ones linked below! – which depict typical New Guinea trading & passenger schooners typical of that era & region in Rabaul.

    Schooner at Rabaul wharf, c. 1929…

    Schooner in Rabaul Harbor, c. 1929…

    Schooner at Rabaul wharf, c. 1929…

    Plantation schooner on Ramu River, 1935…

    Photos of this schooner, with Flynn on board, do exist in the Erben/Fegerl collection. A rare photo of “Flynny” in this timeframe can be found in “Errol Flynn: The Life & Career”, by Tom McNulty – an extraordinary work recommended to all Flynn fans & researchers! (I get no commission.)

    * Not to be confused with the Kokopo Club, site of Young Errol’s legendary brawl with Jack Delgate!

  6. Tim

    April 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm

    “Fusham” – “a small packet boat” – Hong Kong to Macao

    Named in MWWW, at p. 148. No photo or info found – either too insignificant, perhaps, or was Errol handing us some wordplay, really meaning “FU SHAM”? This may fit with the context of his story.

  7. Tim

    April 19, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    SS Paris: Southhampton to New York: Date of Departure – November 20, 1935

    Errol Thomson Flynn” identified as “Actor”, Born in Hobart, with English citizenry. Employer: “Warner Brothers, Burbank Studios, Hollywood”. Official nearest relative contact – Professor Flynn, Queens College, Belfast.

    Lilianne Carre, aka Lili Damita, On Board

    SS Paris Videos:



  8. Tim

    April 19, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    In addition to Lili, also travelling out of Southhampton on the Paris with Errol, were:

    1) “Charles Louis Hayward” – Louis Hayward of Anthony Adverse fame – who later married Ida Lupino!


    2) “Estelle Thompson” – known now to all the world as MERLE OBERON!!! Fascinating here, too, is that Miss Thompson identifies her “Place of Birth” as “Bombay, India” – contradicting her later claims she was born in Tasmania.

    Both actors were identified as employees of “Twentith Century Pictures”, with fares paid by “United Artists”.

    Here’s the Magnificent Merle, with Errol’s Great Friend, David:


    And here’s the Immortal Ida, with Louis Hayward:


    • David DeWitt

      April 19, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Niven had a relationship with Merle, and they lived together, for a time. It was the studios that put out the story that she was Tasmanian, figuring many people had no idea where Tasmania was as a way to explain her exotic looks.

      • Tim

        April 20, 2014 at 7:10 am

        Thanks, David. I know you know you’re Niv!

        Merle’s story could make an absolutely sensational Hollywood (AND Bollywood) story! Her “sister” was het Mom, her “Mom” her Grandma, – rose from poverty in Bombay & Calcutta, to international stardom, fesring to reveal her true identity! Wow! I’d buy a ticket for that!!

        What I found most significant about the National Archive record I reviewed is that it serves as positive, early evidence that Merle HERSELF knew of her birth in Bombay.

        Here’s an article summarizing this astonishing part of her life & career:…

        And here’s Merle late in life still promoting the myth of her Tasmania birth & heritage. This was taken at Hobart TownHall, with the city’s Lord Mayor & Mayoress.


  9. Tim

    April 21, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    RMS Queen Mary: Southhampton to New York
    Errol Arrives in New York on April 19, 1937

    “Leslie Howard Jr.” “Age 13” on same Passenger List


  10. Tim

    April 29, 2014 at 1:38 am

    In September 1927 – motivated by both gold fever & wanderlust – Young Errol took his first trip to New Guinea, via Rabaul – on the Island Liner “Montoro”. He took the ship again, two years later, in reverse direction. Here she is:



  11. Tim

    April 29, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Errol reported on page one of MWWW that, while in Marelle’s womb, he rode on the legendary steam yacht, S.Y. Aurora! His father was later onboard the Aurora during its famous Australasian Antartica Expedition depicted in the commemorative stamp below.

    Anybody got a really good magnifying glass? Who knows? Profssor Flynn might be on deck the Aurora in this photo, with Errol & Marelle bidding him farewell from the dock.

  12. Tim

    April 29, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    The Queen Mary
    Leaves Southhampton: April 14, 1937
    Arrives New York: April 19

    Errol was onboard during Her Maiden Year.

    Here She is in 1937, the year Errol “sailed’ on Her out of Southhampton:


  13. Tim

    May 1, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    SS Matsonia: Luxury Liner
    (formerly the SS Malolo)
    Departed LA: October 20, 1938
    Arrived Honolulu: October 26

    Reported the Royal Hawaiian as his place of lodging during stay. Reported his Father – “T. Flynn” as living at 601 No. Lindon, in Beverly Hills.



    Departed for San Francisco on November 4 – on the SS Lurline


    Great exterior & interior shots of the Lurline & Matsonia:

  14. Tim

    May 2, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    On January 4, 1922, Errol arrived in Plymouth, England, on a passenger liner from Sydney. I plan to soon open a new post on that legendary cruise . Perhaps this singularly historic voyage should be titled it “The Cruise of the Platypi”, starring Young Errol Flynn – with key supporting roles by Flynn-picked stowaway tadpoles from South Africa.

    Here is the ship on which the Flynn’s traveled – the SS Berrima: