Errol Flynn's Only Son's Disappearance in Cambodia — The Mystery Remains Unsolved

Hollywood star Errol Flynn's son, Sean Flynn, made a name for himself as a renowned war photojournalist. Sadly, his passion led to a tragic moment when he went missing in Cambodia. 

Errol Flynn made a name for himself in the golden age of Hollywood as an actor. Like his father, Sean Flynn became a famous person; however, the father-son pair was on different paths.

Sean's path led him to become a passionate war photojournalist in different zones and regions. However, this also led to a tragic turn in his life when he went missing in Southeast Asia while on assignment.

A monochrome portrait of actor Errol Flynn in 01 January, 1900 | Photo: Getty Images

A monochrome portrait of actor Errol Flynn in 01 January, 1900 | Photo: Getty Images

SEAN FLYNN'S DISAPPEARANCE

It has been over 50 years since the disappearance of Sean and a colleague, Dana Stone. They parachuted into the combat zone accompanied by US troops, and Sean was on assignment for TIME. 

On April 6, 1970, Sean and Stone got intel of a checkpoint on Highway One controlled by the Vietnamese communist soldiers while they were on their way from Cambodia to Saigon [now known as Ho Chi Minh City] for a conference.

The pair reportedly rode on motorcycles instead of the limousines provided for journalists at the time to get a first-hand look at the situation. That was the last time they were heard from.

Since the pair went missing, there have been speculations they were held captive for up to a year before they were killed by the Cambodian communist organization Khmer Rouge. Nevertheless, none of it was ever confirmed.

Portrait of Sean Flynn at the San Sebastian Film on 01 January, 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Sean Flynn at the San Sebastian Film on 01 January, 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

WHEN SEAN WAS LAST SEEN

Late "Good Morning America" star Stephen Bell, who was also at the combat zone and was one the last person to see Sean and Stone. He made it known that after all journalists arrived at Phnom Penh, Sean and Stone wanted to go further.

Since 1970, different efforts have been geared towards either finding Sean and Stone or coming across the remains.

A portrait of Sean Flynn holding a camera on 05 June, 1966 | Photo: Getty Images

A portrait of Sean Flynn holding a camera on 05 June, 1966 | Photo: Getty Images

They had been geared to go to the highway because they wanted to see the Viet Cong. As they left, Bell took a photograph of the two. He noted that other journalists left, and they never saw Sean and Stone again.

Bell, who passed on in 2019, shared that the two photojournalists were among the first media personnel to go missing in the war. He added that at the time, they all had no idea how dangerous the situation could get.

Sean Flynn at the San Sebastian Film Festival on 01 January, 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

Sean Flynn at the San Sebastian Film Festival on 01 January, 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

INSIDE SEAN'S CAREER

Sean inherited his dad's looks and also the actor's love for Hollywood. He starred in 1962's "The Son of Captain Blood" and George Hamilton's "Where The Boys Are."

However, Sean's acting career was short-lived when his passion for photojournalism grew. He traveled to volatile warzones in Israel and Vietnam, where he took photos for TIME, Paris Match, and United Press International.

Sean Flynn attends a party on 01 January, 1961 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

Sean Flynn attends a party on 01 January, 1961 in Los Angeles, California | Photo: Getty Images

THE UNSOLVED MYSTERY

Since 1970, different efforts have been geared towards either finding Sean and Stone or coming across the remains. In 2010, two searchers found remains believed to be the two men.

The searchers, David MacMillian and Keith Rotherman, handed the exhumed remains to the Hawaii-based Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. They are in charge of dealing with accounting for missing Americans from past wars.

A portrait of Sean Flynn on 12 December, 1961 | Photo: Getty Images

A portrait of Sean Flynn on 12 December, 1961 | Photo: Getty Images

Tim Page, a journalist during the war who was also interested in finding Sean and Stone, suggested that the two searchers did not conduct a forensic dig. There were speculations about nine journalists buried in that exact location.

Over the years, Tim Page championed search efforts to find the missing journalists. There have also been freelance bone hunters dedicated to the cause, but it remains a mystery.

Sean Flynn at the San Sebastian Film Festival in a bullfight on 01 January, 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

Sean Flynn at the San Sebastian Film Festival in a bullfight on 01 January, 1962 | Photo: Getty Images

SEAN'S RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS DAD

Sean was the only son Errol had with his former wife, Lili Damita. In 2015, the missing journalist's letters to his mother were up for auction. In those letters, it was discovered that he and Errol had a complicated relationship

Sean had expressed his anger to his mom in a letter written when he was fifteen. The journalist seems to have rebelled against his father, noting that he would rather load cement at a construction site.

Errol Flynn and son, Sean on a fishing trip on Lake Mead, near Las Vegas on 01 July, 1951 | Photo: Getty Images

Errol Flynn and son, Sean on a fishing trip on Lake Mead, near Las Vegas on 01 July, 1951 | Photo: Getty Images

The star was also said to have opted out of Hollywood because he did not want to compete with his father. This was one of the reasons why he became a photojournalist, making his way to Vietnam.

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