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Farrish was a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. While acting as the OSS liaison officer to Josip Tito's Yugoslav Partisans he was also allegedly serving Soviet intelligence. Fitzroy Maclean jocularly referred to him in his memoir Eastern Approaches as "my American chief of staff". Farish died in an aircraft crash in the Balkans in September 1944. Farish's code name in Soviet intelligence, and as deciphered in the Venona project is "Attila". He was also referred to as "Lawrene of Yugoslavia" (as was William M. Jones).
Farish is referenced in the following Venona project decryption:
- 1397 KGB New York to Moscow, 4 October 1944
- John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America, Yale University Press (1999), pgs. 194, 195.