(CNAC 1939 - 19??)
(Captain - ???)

December 26, 2009

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your reply and great links. I attach a scan of the badge.

Yes it would be most helpful to have a mention of Terence on your site. A few months ago I got him on the Koihai site, which is dedicated to tea planters in northern India, and this brought some octogenarian tea planters out of the woodwork, who, while they didn’t know him, remembered his exploits in 1946 being spoken of in the club house! It’s amazing what you can find out these days.

Might I suggest something along the following lines - feel free to change

Patrick Richard Martyn Barrington 1917-1946

Baptised as Patrick Terence Michael O’Kelly to parents of Irish and possibly Anglo-Indian extraction in Calcutta in 1917, and known to the family as Terence, Patrick assumed the name Patrick Richard Martyn Barrington (later sometimes hyphenated as Martyn-Barrington) when he joined the Merchant Navy at the age of 15. His great passion though was flying and, after travelling the world, he qualified for his pilot’s licence in the UK age 17. After a couple of years as a display aviator he returned to India where he combined aeronautic displays with work on a teak plantation. His war service remains something of a mystery but may have included service in the RAF and special duties with the army in Burma. He died during an aeronautic display on a tea plantation in northern India.

His connection with the China National Aviation Corporation was brief but evidently significant. In May 1939, calling himself Captain Barrington, he set out to drive from India over the Burma Road to China and his photograph album states he was at Yunnan-Yi with the Chinese Air Force. One picture is captioned “the house we lived in with the Mull - Quentin Roosevelt and Pearl Buck spent some days here with us”. There are further photos naming Mull, Governor Ney (who has yet to be identified) and Colonel Chiang. By June 13 1939 he had left China and was in Hong Kong when his travelling companion was a Mme J Mathers, who may or may not have also been in China. By the end of the month he was in Japan and he sailed from Yokohama to Los Angeles before the end of the year.

Clearly he must have been in China for a reason and presumably with a brief to meet with key personnel at this critical time, but as yet that reason is unknown.

If anyone recognises the photograph or can provide any further information please contact Joss O’Kelly, Patrick/Terence’s niece, on I’m in the UK, so phoning expensive, but do keep in touch by email…



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