FARFAN – Esmond Knox

1800007 – Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – 12 Sqn, 1 Group – Lancaster

ATS 6th Class, Piarco; Base Wickenby, 30 missions; DFC

[Source: CMHA/AD]


EK Farfan













To the memory of CAPT. Esmond Knox FARFAN

Captain Esmond Farfan passed away today March 10 2022 at the age of 99

800007 – Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – 12 Sqn, 1 Group – Lancaster I think he flew from RAF Wickenby Linconshire U.K.

ATS 6th Class, Piarco; Base Wickenby, 30 missions; DFC

Esmond Farfan de los Godos was born in Trinidad on 11 Oct 1922.
In 1943 four close friends from the British West indies (Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago) arrived at Operational Training Unit (OTU). They included John Marks, Ormond Pollard, Esmond Farfan and Martin Knowles – a good band of Brothers. They progressed in their training at HCU (Heavy Bomber Conversion) and hence were posted to 1 Group, two to 625 and two to 12 squadron. Ormond Pollord lost his life during the Vierzon raid, (12 squadron Lancaster 111 JB462 PH-S), Martin Knowles died in a crash during that same raid (Lancaster ND975). Farfan and Marks were destined to survive the war.

Alain Charpentier relates, “In 2005 I drove Farfan to the grave of Ormond, to the crash site and the grave of Martin, must say it was very emotional. He wrote his memoirs some time after, do not now if it was published. He had a good memory of all he did during the war and after, telling me some good stories. The Poignant thing is that just the day before Vierzon, he played cards with Ormond, playing some money for fun. Ormond was put on board for Vierzon and Esmond not….They tell that they would finish after the Ops, a French Target, a piece of cake. At the morning of 1st July 44, Esmond knew that Ormond and another crew of 12 Squadron had got the chop…. The cards never played again.”

Captain Farfan became a veteran of World War II who flew 30 missions, lancaster Bombers over Germany and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Esmond has published (in Trinidad) a fine book entitled “Five years in World War II”. It is based on his diaries and logbooks and describes his experiences during the war. It is based on his diaries and logbooks and describes his experiences during the war. Many of the Trinidad volunteers are mentioned and their exploits and many photos add to the pleasure of the read. The book is 540 pages recommended for any Caribbean War historian.

Esmond Farfan returned to Trinidad at the end of the war. He had served as Captain of a mighty Lancaster bomber over the shrapnel-filled sky of Berlin. He had seen the fires of Stuttgart and Darmstadt, and was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross. Esmond was to become BWIA’s third local pilot and served the airline for 33 years.

Lancaster ND441 PH-Z, 19th/20th February 1944 2337-0258.
During the night 15th/15th March 1944, F/L A.J. COOK was the captain, Sgt Esmond FARFAN as second pilot, W/O P.G. MOUCHET (nav), W/O B. SALT (W/T), W/O R. TIMPERLEY (B/A), Sgt K.L. SUMMERSCALE (F/E), Sgt J.E. McINNES (M/U) and F/Sgt R.F. BAILEY (R/G), Lancaster ND752 PH-D, 1840-0300, Stuttgart.

Capt. Farfan joined the national airline, BWIA, on October 4, 1946, to fly Lockheed Lodestars; his elder brother Ferdinand Jr had joined the year before. Ferdinand Junior Farfan was the airline’s first Trinidadian captain.

As the Trinidadian pilots came home, some found jobs with the airline, as did many navigators, engineers and mechanics. This was the core from which the ‘esprit de corps’ came. These young men and women set the tone for generations to come. ”They gave to BWIA a unique sense of class’” as one retiree told me. “We started off first class from the very beginning.” BWIA looked at the Lockheed 14. These planes were really retired bombers, and served well in the interim. But it was the Lodestars and Vickers Vikings that became the real first fleet. BWIA had by then moved into the old fleet air arm facilities, occupying the four western hangars at Piarco, and was ready to face ‘modern times’.

Esmond was to become BWIA’s third local pilot and served the airline for 33 years. The Farfan brothers made history for BWIA in 1955 when they piloted our first Viscount aircraft. Ferdinand Farfan was captain with Esmond as co-pilot on the flight from London which arrived in Trinidad via Prestwick, Iceland, Greenland, Gander, New York and Bermuda. Captain EK as he was known, was the first to fly Boeing 707s with BWIA in 1968, became one of the company’s senior training captains for many years, and was made B-707 Fleet Manager in 1968.

In an interview with NewsDay newspaper with ANGELA PIDDUCK January 10 2010, “Capt. E.K.Farfan spoke of one in-flight “incident” which has stayed with him – losing an engine on a Viking aircraft on a Jamaica to Miami flight. “We managed to get to a landing field at Homestead in Miami on the other engine. When the passengers came off, they said ‘but we lost an engine.’ I said yes. They were sitting in the back so could not see what was happening.”

He retired in 1978 at the end of the now infamous BWIA strike when the entire pilot body was fired for taking illegal strike action during Carnival 1978; and says Captain EK, “I enjoyed flying until the strike when I left.”

In addition to his job as a pilot, Esmond Farfan can also be counted among this country’s business leaders. He has paid a critical role in the success of the business founded by his father, Fernand Theodore Farfan six decades ago — FT Farfan and Sons. Esmond founded Sun Island Aviation which operated out of the offices of F.T. Farfan and sons in port of Spain. Esmond Farfan was the CEO of the family business.

Embassies often recommended foreign corporations to contact F.T. Farfan and sons with regard to Aviation affairs. Schreiner Air services of Holland approached Esmond with an operating partnership to bid against Bristow Helicopters. Schreiner Air services operated a Cessna 421B based at the LAC Piarco hanger.

[Courtesy: Duncan Richardson and Nicholas Devaux]

ECKEL – Cecil Ernest Bernard

Pilot Officer – Pilot – Hurricane/Typhoon

Volunteer ETS, trained at Piarco, educated QRC. Shot down in France, evaded capture and fought with the maquis. Died 1990

[Source: CMHA]

1394888 – Cecil Ernest Bernard ECKEL – Trinidad – Flight Sergeant – Pilot – 247 Sqn. – Missing – Flying Officer 191986

[Courtesy AD]

DOWDY – Frank

Frank Dowdy

Frank Dowdy, just back from bomber practice as a fighter pilot trained by the Royal Canadian Air Force [photo: CMHA]

Sergeant – Pilot – RCAF/RAF – 150 Sqn – Lancaster

Educated Belmont Boys & London School of economics. Joined RCAF 1943-44; transferred to RAF 1944 to 1947. Trained on Hurricane but transferred to Lancasters; 2 ops

[Source: CMHA]

Frank Dowdy

‘My Lancaster bomber crew’ – left, standing: Frank Dowdy, 2nd pilot/flgt eng [photo: CMHA]

605559 – F.A.A. Dowdy – Trinidad – attested 7.4.43 – Sgt. Pilot UK 24.1.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876]


Pilot Officer/Flight Lieutenant

[Source: CMHA]



Trained in Canada. Did not see service in Europe.

[Source: CMHA]


RCAF – Gunner

Completed 2 tours

[Source: CMHA]


Pilot Officer – RAAF – GD Branch – Fare East/100 Sqn

[Source: CMHA]

De VERTEUIL – Noel Joseph

Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – Spitfire/Mustang

Volunteer ETS, trained at Piarco 5th Course. Died 1981

[Source: CMHA]

1397459 – Noel Joseph de Verteuil – Trinidad – Flight Lieutenant – Pilot – Spitfire/Mustang

[Courtesy AD]

De VERTEUIL – Michael P.

Gunner – RAAF – Far East – Beaufort

Stationed northern New Guinea; flew 54 missions in 53 days. Completed 116 operations.

[Source: CMHA]

De VERTEUIL – Laurent Joseph


Flight Lieutenant – Observer – 98 Sqn, 2 Group, aTAF – B25 Mitchell

Was in the formation immediately behind when Garth Lyder was shot down

[Source: CMHA]

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