Not much has been mentioned about Barry Mahon. Here he is on the left on a “scramble” call when he served in the 121st Eagle Squadron.

01 Nov

Barry eagle


The squadrons participated in “Operation Jubilee,” the Dieppe Raid of 15 August 1942. Barry Mahon became the fourth Eagle Squadron ace, but was subsequently shot down. At Stalag Luft III, Mahon became “The Cooler King” and only failed to take part in “The Great Escape” because he had escaped earlier and been recaptured in Czechosolvakia, after walking 400 miles. Mahon served as Technical Advisor on the movie “The Great Escape,” and was the inspiration for the character played by Steve McQueen.

— Don Jan


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  1. The Zaca

    November 1, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    OK. Call me dense but…what does he have to do with EF. Please clarify?

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    • Don Jan

      November 2, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Barry Mahon was a figher pilot in WW2, later he worked with Errol as his pilot until he got his own license, much later his business manager and directed 1 or 2 films, there are hardly any images to be found, so I thought as this is a blog dedicated to Errol Flynn he might as well be mentioned and not be forgotten. We should have an open mind and be flexible . We learn every day about EF and his intriguing life.

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    • shangheinz

      November 2, 2015 at 11:04 am

      Flynn had just lost two dear friends, when war vet Barry Mahon literally stood at his doorstep at Mullholland farm. Bud Ernst, his ex privat pilot, had shot himself and Freddie McEvoy, his best man and risky business associate, had drowned under murky circumstances at the coast of Morocco. Barry pitched Errol the idea to do a film on the Egyptian monarch Faruk, who should finance the film. This appealed to our Hollywood hero so much, that he made Barry his new legal representative on the spot. The instant promotion would cost Flynn dearly in later years, because his former representation would sue and win shares of EF`s revenue. However Barry also was the mastermind of Errol`s leaving Warner`s, since a new law had been passed, stating that if you left the US for 18 months, no income taxes had to be paid. The demise of the studio system went hand in hand with this tax evasion sceme. The two of them made “Crossed Swords” in Italy and while “The Story of Faruk” was cancelled, when Faruk was sacked by his people in 1953, “William Tell” was initiated, but never finished. Barry Mahon was another character Errol fell for, because of an adventurous devil may care attitude. Mahon would go on as a producer of kiddie matinee films and soft core flics.

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      • shangheinz

        November 2, 2015 at 11:13 am


        J. Berrett Mahon. His daughter, Doris Keating, was the producer of the TV film on Errol “My wicked wicked ways”.

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      • Don Jan

        November 2, 2015 at 1:45 pm

        Grand comment! Full marks! So it proves research reveals many things about the people who were part of Errol´s fascinating life.

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  2. The Zaca

    November 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    OK! Don’t hate me for not knowing…..perhaps in the future you could mention the connection to these people to EF in the ORIGINAL POST. Had you told me all what you added afterwards, would have never had to ask….grin… for thought gang; remember, some of us are not as well-scripted in every nuance of Errol’s life as others. Respect that and share your insights fully so we can all enjoy! Carry on!

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    • Don Jan

      November 2, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      The good thing is on this blog we have ERROL FLYNN in mind, we do respect anyone who knows more about our enigmatic hero or less as we all learn from postings, comments etc. Anything on this blog, however, will have something to do with Errol, it being a co-star, assistant, starlets, director as he met so many people. Occasionally we dig up something worthwhile, useful, entertaining for us all to enjoy. I discover little snippets here and there and put them on.

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      • The Zaca

        November 2, 2015 at 10:32 pm

        I live for Robert’s Then and Now photos. Hoping he will find time to post more soon!

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        • rswilltell

          November 3, 2015 at 3:16 pm

          Barry Mahon was also the director of Errol Flynn’s last movie, the miserable ‘Cuban Rebel Girls’ (1959). Sadly, after ‘The Roots Of Heaven’ (1958) there were no other forthcoming film offers so Barry and Errol produced this wretched ‘swan song’ on a shoestring budget. It was a pathetic and desperate comedown for a once-great Hollywood movie star.

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          • gerry

            April 7, 2020 at 6:31 pm

            It’s always interesting to me when Hollywood heroes intersect with real heroes. For some reason people still seem to prefer the Hollywood heroes.

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            • Gentleman Tim

              April 8, 2020 at 6:54 am

              There were few pilots cooler than the Cooler King.

              The British Air Ministry awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross, noting in his citation that he was “an extremely skillful and confident pilot, whose courage, especially when attacking superior numbers of hostile aircraft, had been unsurpassed.”


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