For Posterity's Sake
A Royal Canadian Navy Historical Project
In memory of those who have Crossed the Bar
FARRELL, William Lionel Douglas (Wild Bill) (Daisy) - Son of Catherine (Kit) Ann McCaffrey and Francis (Bub, Bob) Michael Farrell. Predeceased by wife Trudy (Marshall). Survived by five children: Doug (Cheryl), Susan (John), Billy, Bobby (Sharon), Glenda (Jim), eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild (all in the Maritimes). Siblings Frank (Doris), Dan, Marcella, Helen (Howe-deceased). Numerous nephews, nieces and a few cousins reside in Ottawa and environs. Bill attended several Ottawa schools: St. Brigid's, Lisgar, Ottawa Tech and Ottawa U. before enlisting in the RCN. One of Canada's more colourful aviators, Bill trained on Fairey Barracudas, and Fairey Swordfish biplanes in Scotland at the end of WWII before being posted to Canada's first aircraft carrier, HMCS Warrior, from which he flew in Fairey Firefly fighter-bombers. He flew, also, from Canada's second carrier, HMCS Magnificent. Later, Bill served aboard the destroyer Iroquois during the Korean war. Bill took early retirement from the Navy. After a brief stint as administrator first at Moirs and then at the local hospital, Bill returned to his first love, aviation. Bill flew light twins for several years from Kelly Lake airport on duties that included ambulance flights and beach landing on Sable Island. Later, he flew Beaver aircraft into remote strips of Labrador and Newfoundland. When that company folded Bill resumed work as an instructor at the Shearwater Flying Club. He took part in the annual Spruce Budworm spraying operations in New Brunswick flying Grumman Avenger aircraft until an engine failure caused him to crash into the bush demolishing all of the aircraft, except for a small portion of the aircraft surrounding the cockpit from which he emerged unscathed. Bill was an ardent advocate for naval aviation as editor for the Shearwater Aviation Museum's periodical. Bill also spearheaded a battle to preserve the Shearwater airport. A proud Canadian and a true patriot, Bill spent his final years attempting to persuade government authorities to re-equip our navy with a carrier-based task force to take part in UN and NATO operations. As well, Bill lent his talented pen in defence of national and international issues: in his last days he took on the cause of Omar Kadr. Bill, Wild and Wonderful! Now with the Angels and the Saints, teasing and punning and engaging them in heavenly (and possibly outrageous) adventures. He led, he taught, he supported, he comforted. He shared his talents and himself. A Somebody. He added glamour and excitement to our lives. Memories are fixed in playback mode.
Ships served in:
HMCS MAGNIFICENT - Appointed to Magnificent, 825 Squadron 19 May 1948 as Lt (O), RCN