NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) over the weekend extended congratulations to Captain Whitfield Neely, who was bestowed with the honor of Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Queen Elizabeth on the Queen’s New Year’s Honors list.
A member of the RBDF’s Entry 5 squad, Neely was one of 15 survivors of the ill-fated HMBS Flamingo, which was bombed and sunk by Cuban MIG jets on May 10, 1980.
Every May, the country holds a memorial service in recognition of the tragic event during which four marines lost their lives.
“The only current serving survivor, he (Neely) has made tremendous contributions to the organization over the years,” the RBDF noted.
In December 2020, Neely was appointed as The Bahamas’ resident ambassador to the Republic of Haiti and non-resident ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
The RBDF said it is “truly grateful for the devoted services of Captain Neely to the organization and his country”.
Commander Defence Force Commodore Raymond King extended congratulations on behalf of the members of his executive command, officers, warrant officers, non-commissioned and junior marines of the RBDF on Neely’s “great accomplishment”.
Neely was among 24 Bahamians, including noted public health pioneer Dr Merceline Dahl-Regis, named on the Queen’s New Year’s Honors list that was released on New Year’s Eve.
He was awarded MBE for services to the nation.