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John Irwin Flynn - Titanic First Class Passenger

Mr John Irwin Flynn was 36 year old first class passenger travelling aboard the maiden voyage of RMS Titanic. Boarding Titanic at Southampton on 10th April 1912, he was returning home to the United States, where he lived in Brooklyn, New York City – after completing a European business trip as part of his job as a buyer for Gimbels department store in New York City. Also sailing home aboard Titanic were fellow Gimbels buyers Edward Pennington Calderhead and James Robert McGough.

John Irwin Flynn was born in London, Ontario, Canada on 26th June 1875. His parents were James and Catherine Flynn. He moved from Canada to the United States in 1892, and in around 1902 he was married to Sarah Alberta Dutterer. The Flynn’s had a daughter, named Virginia Katherine Flynn, who was born on 4th March 1904.

Aboard Titanic John Irwin Flynn shared cabin E25 with James Robert McGough. The cabin next door, E24, was occupied by Edward Pennington Calderhead and Spencer Victor Silverthorne, a buyer from another company.

At the time Titanic collided with the iceberg at 11.40pm on 14th April 1912, John Irwin Flynn was in his cabin when he was awoken by the collision, which he is said to have much later described as sounding like logs rolling down the side of the ship. Ignoring the advice of a steward that there was no danger and that they should go back to bed, he made his way up on to the A Deck promenade deck, where eventually the order was heard to put on lifejackets. After fetching is life jacket from his cabin he made his way to the Starboard side Boat Deck, where he, Edward Pennington Calderhead and Spencer Victor Silverthorne were amongst those lowered away from the ship in Lifeboat 5, the second to leave the ship. James Robert McGough had already been lowered into the sea in Lifeboat 7. They survived the Titanic disaster.

After the sinking of Titanic John Irwin Flynn continued to cross the Atlantic many times, including sailing three times from Europe aboard Titanic’s near identical sister ship RMS Olympic, in 1925, 1927 and 1930.

At some point after the Titanic disaster he moved with his wife to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In August 1935 an article appeared in Pittsburgh Press recounting his experiences on Titanic. The article notes that he was a buyer for Kaufmann’s. After this nothing is currently known about John Irwin Flynn. It is not known when he died.

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