Memorial Day service to pay special tribute to hero

ON MONDAY, May 28, the United States Embassy will commemorate Memorial Day with a wreath laying ceremony at Clifton Pier in memory of fallen comrades and military veterans.

Special recognition will be given to the US Patrol Squadron 23 sailors who died off the coast of Nassau on May 7, 1954 and Private First Class Norman Darling, born in the Bahamas, who died in the Iraq War in 2004.

The annual event will include representatives from the US Embassy, their Bahamian counterparts in law enforcement and other local government officials.

It will be held at the site of the memorial to Patrol Squad 23, which commemorates the 10 US crew members who lost their lives during a fateful training mission off the coast of Nassau.

US Chargé d’Affaires John Dinkelman and Governor General Sir Arthur Foulkes will join relatives of the fallen sailors and give remarks at the ceremony.

On May 7, 1954, a VP-23 Squadron Neptune aircraft (MA-5) and its crew crashed after take-off from Windsor Field, Nassau, while participating in an exercise with ships from the Atlantic Fleet.

The exercise was designed to improve fleet defence against enemy submarine attacks.

The wreckage of the MA-5 was located about three and three-quarter miles from the west end of runway 27 at Windsor field.

All 10 personnel onboard died in the crash.

On September 4 that year, the Clifton Pier monument was erected in honour of the lost sailors.

Bahamian Norman Darling emigrated from the Bahamas to the US and joined the Army, his childhood dream.

He was killed on April 29, 2004 by a suicide bomber while searching for roadside explosives outside the Iraqi city of Fallujah. He was attached to the Army's Fourth Battalion, 27th Field Artillery Regiment, First Armored Division, based in Baumholder, Germany.


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