There was perhaps nothing more terrifying for a pilot, a navigator, and a telegraphist air gunner, on a training flight out of East Camp, RCAF Station Yarmouth to become lost in fog off south western Nova Scotia. Telegraphist Air Gunner Course 45A was the first class to complete training at East Camp. The thirty-eight TAG trainees had arrived on December 25, 1942 to begin nine months of training in Canada. By the summer of 1943 the flight training for this first class was well under way. Yarmouth has always been famous for its foggy weather. Even on the sunniest days a heavy rolling fog could sweep in along the coast without much warning and the wartime training flights had little choice but to return to the airfield. For twenty year old, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm Telegraphist Air Gunner trainee, Lawrence Farrington, his experience in the summer of 1943 would be one that remained with him throughout his life. The training flight had departed East Camp in good weather and proceeded along the coast. A dramatic change in weather saw wet damp fog begin to roll in and the pilot changed course to return to the airfield. While heading in the right direction, the crew lost sight of land and it soon became apparent that it would be difficult to locate the airfield. The fog obscured the water below and the clear sky above. They were lost in the fog. As the plane descended in attempts to locate a landmark they only discovered the fog extended to the water below. Now, running low on fuel, the pilot continued to search for a landmark that would give them some idea of where they were. The coast has endless islands and rivers, and it was on one of these attempts as the plane came down further, land was slighted. And yet, where they were exactly was the question. It was the Chebogue Cemetery, located on a hillside sloping toward the Chebogue River, Rockville, that would lead them safely to East Camp. Lawrence recognized the cemetery and knew the airstrip was only some 8 km to the west of the cemetery. For the twenty year old British TAG trainee, the cemetery saved his life. It was in this cemetery he decided he would be buried. Yarmouth, Nova Scotia forever remained a special place in his heart. While training at East Camp he met his future wife, Margaret Helen Crosby. The YMCA and local churches, and the townspeople, organized social events for the trainees from the base. It was through volunteer work at these social activities that Lawrence met Margaret. October 1, 1943 the first TAG course graduated and left Yarmouth and were posted to Squadrons in the USA, Trinidad, the Pacific, and Britain. Lawrence spent the war years in various flying duties around the British Isles and one additional pilot training course in Hawkesbury, Ontario. He was awaiting transport to the Far East when the war ended in the summer of 1945. He was able to return to his studies at Oxford in the fall of 1945. Upon graduation, he returned to Nova Scotia where he taught for one year at the school in Clarks Harbour. In 1950, he and Margaret were married at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Yarmouth. He then joined the Royal Canadian Navy in which he had many varied careers ending up as Director General of Information. He retired from the service with the rank of Commodore. He worked for the Privy Council Office in Ottawa for an addition 15 years. On Saturday, October 9, 2004 a graveside service was held at Chebogue Cemetery for Lawrence (Laurie) Farrington. Lawrence (Laurie) Farrington Date of Birth: May 11, 1923 Place of Birth: Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, England Date of Death: September 14, 2004 Cemetery: Chebogue Cemetery, Town Point Rd. Rockville, Yarmouth Co., NS Margaret Helen (Crosby) Farrington Place of Birth: Yarmouth, Nova Scotia Date of Birth: March 2, 1921 Date of Death: December 5, 2015 Cemetery: Chebogue Cemetery, Town Point Rd. Rockville, Yarmouth Co., NS
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Remembering the Telegraphist Air Gunners
Lost in the Fog 1943
Chebogue Point Cemetery