Encyclopedia Titanica

John Irwin Flynn's account

Pittsburgh Press

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Although the torpedoing of the Lusitania is one of the most thrilling tragedies of maritime history, now being revived by the search for its lost treasure, there is one Pittsburgher who wouldn’t want to talk with any of the survivors.

The man is J. Irwin Flynn, survivor of the titanic disaster. He said:

“I never met any Lusitania survivors, I don’t want to meet any. One shipwreck is enough. It was a hellish experience”

Had No Feeling

Asked about his reactions at the time of one of these major disasters of the sea, he replied:

“I’ve been asked that question a million times. I had no feeling at all. It was April 15. There were miles and miles of icebergs around us. We were too cold to be excited, so numb that I don’t believe a single woman made an outcry in the life boats. Some got hysterical after they were rescued and warmed up.”

“I was in a cabin with a department store buyer from Philadelphia. The accident happened at midnight. We were awakened, but there was no crash. Sounded like logs rolling down the side of the ship.”

Mink Coat Over Nightdress

Mr Flynn pulled an overcoat over his pajamas when they went on deck. Right across the corridor was a woman. They called her, she arose, pulled on stockings and shoes, jerked a mink coat over her nightdress.

In the adjoining cabin were two young women, who had been seasick the entire trip.

“They never got up. They didn’t know anything until the water hit them in the cabin. Both were lost” he said

Happened to Be There

Mr Flynn was in a small boat containing 33 women, four children, two men.

“It took nerve to go out in those little boats, “he commented, “at a time when no one thought the Titanic would sink. We didn’t want to go down in those shells, over the side of the boat in the middle of the night. We just happened to be at a certain spot on deck at a certain time, and so were forced into the boats.”

Mr Flynn is a buyer for Kaufmann’s. At the time of the disaster he was connected with Gumbels, New York store.

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Encyclopedia Titanica (2013) John Irwin Flynn's account (Pittsburgh Press, Sunday 4th August 1935, ref: #19555, published 12 September 2013, generated 22nd May 2023 05:43:47 PM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/john-irwin-flynns-account.html