Family members and friends of the four (4) marines killed in action 29 years ago during the sinking of HMBS Flamingo, will join the Officers and Marines of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for a brief ceremony at the Coral Harbour base on Monday May 11th 2009 at 8:30 a.m.  .


Bringing remarks at the special Morning Colors Ceremony will be the Minister of National Security and Immigration, the Honorable Tommy Turnquest.  After the ceremony, one of the Defence Force craft will take the family members out for the laying of a wreath at sea in memory of HMBS Flamingo and her fallen crew.  The Defence Force ensign will be flown at half-mast throughout the day.


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 killed when Cuban MIG jets fired upon and sank HMBS Flamingo.


Five (5) of the fifteen (15) surviving crew members of HMBS Flamingo are still serving members of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.  They are Senior Lieutenant Whitfield Neely, Force Chief Petty Officer Dencil Clarke, Force Chief Petty Officer Gregory Curry, Chief Petty Officer Eugene Thompson, and Chief Petty Officer Anthony Russell.


Observers recognize the tragic event as not only a defining moment in the history of the embryonic Defence Force, but also for the relatively newly independent Bahamas.  We look forward to seeing members from your establishment represented to enhance coverage of this special event.