was born on 3rd October 1901 to George Adam Farish and Ella May (nee Collins) in
Rumsey, Yolo Co.,
. His grandfather Anthony Linn Farish was the public administrator of Yolo
county, who was elected to the office on the Democratic ticket in 1910. His
grandfather was also chief deputy in the
marshal's office. His father managed a 450 acre ranch in the Capay valley, Yolo
county and a 20 acre ranch in the suburbs of
was educated at
where he took a degree in Geology. After graduation he became a top geologist
and petroleum consultant.
married Nora Jenkins
the 1924 US team with American soprano Luella Melius and mascot.
played once for the
in the 1924 Olympic final at No. 8 and scored two tries.
squad training in
before Olympic Games in
. Photo taken at Plymouth Rugby Club. Back Row (L-R): Sam Goodman (Manager),
Valentine, Cashel, Williams, B, Slater (Cpt), Farish, Clark, Patrick, N. Slater,
DeGroot, Charles Austin (Coach) Middle Row: Graff, Turkington, Deveraux, Manelli,
. Front Row: Rogers, Hyland, Hunter, O'Neill, Cleveland, Muldoon, Scholz.
action from the
action from the
Newspaper article about the behaviour of the French crowd during and after the
final was marred by violence from the French crowd and the
team had to escorted off the pitch by the police.
a 1924 Olympic Gold Medal
entered the war Linn served with the Canadian Army, with the Royal Engineers in
, and then transferring to a British commando group. While undergoing paratroop
training, Farish was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the
forerunner of the CIA, and commissioned a major. His friend, Colonel Albert
Seitz, was an engineer by profession. He had spent some time at
and served in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They met at a “jump
training” camp near
, then received parallel orders to report to
for assignment. Farish learned that he had been selected to serve as
representative with the SOE mission to Tito. Seitz, paradoxically, was to head
team to Mihailovic’s camp. At the outset, neither officer had much knowledge
of the Tito-Mihailovic conflict. Sitz recalls that they “discussed the
reported friction ‘’’ and the matter did not appear insurmountable”
Farish and Seitz would have the important task of determining whether the two
competing resistance groups were deserving of American aid.
acting as the
liaison officer to Josip Tito's Yugoslav Partisans he was also allegedly
serving Soviet intelligence.
mapped out the area and located many areas which, although dangerous, could be
used as landing strips. He then flew in and out of
, rescuing hundreds of fliers who had bailed out of crippled planes in the
Balkans. He spent three 90-day periods in
, each time parachuting in, and then surveying the area by plane, looking for
appropriate landing strips. He was given the Distinguished Service Cross and the
government’s code of secrecy towards the actions of secret agents was broken,
so that his name could be released as a military hero.
Churchill's special envoy to the Yugoslav leader Josip Tito in 1943-45)
jocularly referred to him in
his memoir Eastern Approaches as "my American chief of staff". Farish
was known to his
compatriots as “Lawrence of Yugoslavia”
the third of his reconnaissance trips in the
his aircraft crashed and he was killed on 11th September 1944. He was buried at
Arlington National Cemetery
Section 2 Site 3435-F.
21st September 1944 The Oakland Tribune said
. Sept. 21.—AP—Military censorship has relaxed one of its most rigid
restrictions so that public recognition may be given Maj. Linn M. Farish of
. Calif., the courageous officer who outfoxed the Germans for 12 months in the
Balkans, only to die in a plane crash.
An engineer, Major Farish located and surveyed many secret air fields from which
Allied fliers and others have been flown out to freedom. A careful observer, he
saw events so clearly and with such perspective that his" reports were sent
to the White House. Anonymity cloaked
his identity and activities because he was a secret agent. He was killed in the
Balkans on September 11. Farish parachuted into the wild Bosnian hinterland on
September 19, 1343, to join the British-American mission to Marshal Tito's
Partisan headquarters Immediately after his arrival he went to Tito for
assistance in rescuing fliers bailing out of crippled planes over Yugoslavia.
The Partisan leader responded by sending this order to every brigade
headquarters: "American fliers must be rescued from enemy elements
by force of arms if necessary." From this pledge of co-operation dated the
return from captivity of hundreds of Allied airmen. Farish began work by sending
in data for "escape maps" and urging
that fliers be kept up to date on free areas held by Tito. He then again
searching for suitable landing strips so the men. once they were in safe hands,
might be returned to home bases.
He stressed the importance of preparing several strips in each area to permit
their use by rotation to confuse the enemy and eliminated the necessity of
moving wounded men long distances. From such secondary fields, many men
subsequently escaped from the Germans, among them Tito and Farish himself.
Farish spent three 90-day periods in the interior of
, entering each time by parachute. He then undertook a series of surveying
trips by plane. He met his death on the third of these journeys. His most
exciting cat-and-mouse skirmish with the enemy occurred in April after he had
near the Bulgarian border to round up and evacuate a number of fliers, some of
whom had been in hiding since the low level bombing attack on
in August, 1943. First Lieut. Eli Popovitch of
, accompanied him. They located four airmen safe at parsian headquarters, but
before they had lime to look for a landing strip. Bulgarian troops in the
vicinity began an offensive. The Americans moved north for six days and five
nights with only a few hours sleep. Bulgarian patrols twice fired on them. The
Americans passed through the enemy lines three limes. The pair then made a
five-day trip on horseback to bring a wounded flier from a small village near a
Bulgarian garrison, crossing the enemy lines twice and barely escaping on one
occasion by galloping their mounts under machine gun fire. On May 18 they saw a
bomber shot down over the mountains and went off again for nine days to scour
the area for its crew. On the tenth day word reached their camp that three
surviving fliers had boon carried away by a Chetnik patrol. Farish and Popovitch
searched four more days and on June 3
managed to gel through to a village described as in "dangerous Chetnik
territory." They found tile men alive and under treatment. They had no
trouble in getting ox carts for their removal.
is the only
rugby player to die in World War II.
code name in Soviet intelligence, and as deciphered in the Venona project was
"Attila". The Venona project was a long-running secret collaboration
intelligence agencies involving cryptanalysis of messages sent by intelligence
agencies of the
, mostly during World War II.
was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross posthumously by the President of the
United States of America
in 1944. It said
The President of the United States of America,
authorized by Act of Congress, July 9, 1918, takes pride in presenting the
Distinguished Service Cross (Posthumously) to Major Linn M. Farish (ASN:
0-884213), United States Army, for extraordinary heroism in connection with
military operations against an armed enemy while serving with Company B, 2677th
Regiment, Office of Strategic Services, in action against enemy forces in the
Balkans from 18 April 1944 to 16 June 1944. Major Farish's descent by parachute
in enemy occupied territory, his leadership, and his resolute conduct in the
face of great peril throughout an extended period, in the successful
accomplishment of an extremely hazardous and difficult mission, exemplified the
finest traditions of the armed forces of the United States. In a later hazardous
assignment of vital importance to subsequently military operations, Major Farish
was killed, when his aircraft crashed during the course of operations. Major
Farish's intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty
exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the
and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the
Theater of Operations, General Orders No.
April 18 - June 16, 1944
Office of Strategic Services
listed on the The Yolo County Courthouse Memorial. He is part of the Yolo County
Veterans Memorial Project.
Yolo County Courthouse with the Veterans Memorial in the foreground.
father. George, born 23rd October 1874, died on 6th September 1952. His mother,
Ella, born 20th April 1876, died 12th April 1975. Both his parents are buried at
: The Secret History of
's First Central Intelligence Agency. Richard Harris Smith. The
Lyons Press; 1st edition (August 1, 2005)
Shadows on the Mountain: The Allies, The
Resistance, and the Rivalries that Doomed WWII Yugoslavia. Marcia Kurapovna.
John Wiley & Sons Inc (E) (24 Nov 2009)
Venona: Decoding Soviet
John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr,
Press (1999), pgs. 194, 195.
Olympic Games 1924 -
17 - 3
Awakens. 60 minute HD sports documentary that explores 130 years of rugby in
. Through the lens of award winning filmmaker Sylvain Doreau
The Perilous Fight:
's World War II in Color - Battlefronts (1942-1944)