June 23, 2012, 4:00 pm

87b37 imgThis story about Errol Flynn could, of course, be apocryphal:

Warner Brothers committed an exceptional $1.7 million budget to Dive Bomber, the same as for The Sea Hawk and only slightly less than for Robin Hood. Despite a tense international situation, about 1,000 Navy personnel were allotted to the production at San Diego and Los Angeles. [Admiral Bill] Halsey was perennially cranky because filming interfered with training, yet he had no choice but to cooperate. Nonetheless, Wild Bill made his displeasure known frequently and loudly. Witnesses reported that the day shooting wrapped, he leaned over the bridge railing and yelled downward, ‘Now get the hell off my ship!’ Reportedly Errol Flynn turned, rendered honors with a single-digit salute, and dived off the flight deck into San Diego Bay. The film crew roared in approval.[1]

Tillman doesn’t cite his source for the story, and a quick perusal of Google didn’t come up with anything conclusive. Nonetheless, it fits Flynn’s personality, and Halsey’s, and I like it.

[1] Barrett Tillman, Enterprise : America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped Win World War II (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2012), 25.

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