Sattahip, military marks 90th anniversary of ‘father of Thai navy” death

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Government and Royal Thai Navy officials marked the 90th anniversary of the death of “father of the Thai navy” at separate Sattahip ceremonies.

Royal Thai Marine Corp commander Adm. Khanat Thongpool presided over a May 19 garland presentation ceremony to Adm. Abhakara Kiartivongse, prince of Chumphon, in front of the marines’ headquarters.

An honor guard of nine fired 19 shots to honor the spirit of the prince, who died May 19, 1923 at age 42. Servicemen sang royal anthems extolling bravery, hard work and harmony.

Top military officers pay their respects to a statue of Adm. Abhakara Kiartivongse, prince of Chumphon.Top military officers pay their respects to a statue of Adm. Abhakara Kiartivongse, prince of Chumphon.

Khanat joined Chonburi Dep. Gov. Adisak Thepass and Vice Adm. Chainarong Chaorenrak, commander of the Sattahip Naval Base, at a second ceremony where the public was invited to join in singing the anthems and placing flowers at the base of the Prince Chumphon statue.

The prince studied naval warfare in England and returned to Siam during the time of King Rama V to serve in the Royal Siamese Navy and contribute significantly to the advancement and modernization of the service.

In addition to his career in the navy, the prince studied medicine and was particularly interested in the use of herbal medicine in treating his patients. As “Doctor Phon,” he provided medical treatment to people of all classes and races.

The Royal Thai Fleet traces its roots to 1923 when a unit specializing in warships was founded under the name Royal Thai Navy, reporting directly to the Ministry of Naval Officers, with three warships fleets consisting of gun and torpedo squadrons and warships.

It wasn’t until 1933 when the name Royal Thai Navy was changed to Royal Thai Warship, reporting directly to the Ministry of Naval Officers, until 1951, when the name was again changed to Royal Thai Fleet.