Marines of the ill-fated HMBS FLAMINGO were remembered with a gun salute in military form and a wreath-laying ceremony during the 41st Anniversary Service in memory of the vessel and crew on Monday, May 10, 2021, at HMBS CORAL HARBOUR.
The Governor General of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas, His Excellency the Most Honourable Cornelius A. Smith brought remarks and placed a wreath at the HMBS Flamingo Memorial Park Monument. Family members and friends of the four marines lost in action, along with survivors attended the solemn ceremony.
While remembering the fallen marines, His Excellency urged members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force to continue performing their duties in protecting and guarding the territorial integrity of The Bahamas with the same tenacity as the crew of the HMBS Flamingo.
Family members of the four marines each placed wreaths near their plaques. For the first time, the names of RBDF personnel who died in the line of duty, along with members who died whilst serving and retired members who have since passed, were unveiled at the HMBS Flamingo Memorial Park Monument on the Wall of Remembrance.
Dignitaries in attendance also included the Minister of National Security, the Honourable Marvin Dames; Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Darren Henfield (a retired naval officer and member of the Defence Force); the Commander Defence Force, Commodore Raymond King; Retired Captain Whitfield Neely, who was recently confirmed as the Bahamas Resident Ambassador to Haiti and the Non-Resident Ambassador to the Dominican Republic; and the local Heads of Law Enforcement agencies. The ceremony concluded with a wreath being laid in waters just outside the harbor to commemorate those who were lost at sea.
On May 10th, 1980, after arresting two (2) Cuban fishing vessels near the Ragged Island Chain, Able Seaman Fenrick Sturrup (21), Marine Seaman Austin Rudolph Smith (21), Marine Seaman David Allison Tucker (21), and Marine Seaman Edward Arnold Williams (23) were lost when Cuban MIG jets fired upon and sank Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship FLAMINGO. A total of fifteen crew members survived the ordeal, led by Senior Commander Amos Rolle.