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Farish, Linn M. "Crash Kills Daring U.S. Secret Agent"

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Farish, Linn M. "Crash Kills Daring U.S. Secret Agent"

Posted: 18 Jan 2009 9:29AM GMT
Classification: Military
Surnames: Farish, Collins, McCallum
Oakland Tribune Thursday, September 21, 1944 Oakland, California

CRASH KILLS DARING U.S. SECRET AGENT

BARI. Italy. 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 Woodland.
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 Yugoslavia, 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 jumped into
Macedonia 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 Ploesti in
August, 1943.
First Lieut. Eli Popovitch of South
Chicago, 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 Liberator
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.

Woodland Daily Democrat Tuesday, September 30, 1919 Woodland, California

Linn Farish has registered at Stanford
University.

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