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AWOL in Wilmington


Victor Smith & Anthony Kerr - are you there? Give us you side of the tale. Was it worth it? (& I'd guess it probably was!)



Evening Journal

Wilmington, Delaware, Friday, June 29 1976

2 Gobs Vanish, But Not Alone

Two British sailors have apparently added a Gallic flavor to their goodwill tour of Wilmington, by taking a brief French leave.


According to Wilmington police an "attempt-.to-locate" bulletin was issued for the two, who were last seen leaving the dock in a red Mustang, accompanied by two women.


The frigate HMS Bacchante arrived at the Marine. Terminal Friday and is scheduled to steam to New York on Thursday.


Police believe the two errant seamen will make it back over the hill before the ship, departs. The Bacchante's skipper, Capt. Tony Dunn could not immediately be reached for comment on his plans for welcoming the pair back aboard.


The News Journal

Wilmington, Delaware, Saturday, June 30 1976. Volume 2 Number ?? Fifteen Cents

Party's over for 2 sailors

Two British sailors from the frigate HMS Bacchante apparently went in pursuit of Bacchus himself – without leave - and are now confined to ship. Wilmington police had issued an “attempt-to-locate”


bulletin for the pair, last seen leaving the dock with two women in a red Mustang Monday night.


The pair was spotted yesterday about 2:15 p.m. in a bar at 7th and Washington Sts. and escorted back to ship. According to a spokesman for the Bacchante, the two sailors have lost their leave for being AWOL. 


The Bacchante, which arrived Friday at the Wilmington Marine Terminal on a Bicentennial visit, is scheduled to steam to New York tomorrow.


Evening Journal

Wilmington, Delaware, Saturday, June 30 1976

Britons Were AWOL in Wilmington

" Sailors Plucked From the Drinks.


Two British tars, perhaps inspired by shipmates' tales of the glories of Wilmington as a liberty town, were back aboard ship today, hopefully with enough memories to last them a while.


According to city police, the two were picked up by a patrolman outside a package store and returned yesterday afternoon to the HMS Bacchante, named after liberated Greek women who worshipped Bacchus, the Greek god of wine. Initial reports said the pair, had left the wharf in the company of two women in a red car. Police said they were notified yesterday by officers on the 260 man vessel, tied up at the Marine Terminal for a week-long Bicentennial visit, that Seamen Victor R. Smith and Anthony M. Kerr, both 21, had "jumped ship."


Bacchante officers said the pair had violated liberty regulations earlier and were ordered to stay aboard as a disciplinary measure while shipmates frolicked ashore.


A letter to the News-Journal from the grateful crew thanked the "people of Wilmington" for their "kindness, hospitality, and graciousness," sentiments that apparently weren't lost on Smith and Kerr, who, according to police, sneaked off the ship in civilian clothes sometime between l and 4 a.m. yesterday.


Police Sgt. Raymond Campbell, of the missing persons unit, began combing the city for the two seamen, stopping in center city tap rooms and asking questions. According to Ralph Levin proprietor of Jay-Bee Liquors 7th and Washington Sts., the sergeant came into his liquor store about 2:30 p.m. and asked Levin to be on the lookout for the sailors. Campbell began


giving Levin a description of the Britons. Levin said, when they walked by the window. The sergeant handed them over to Royal Navy officials. According to Lt. David Sanifer, ship's liaison officer, Smith and Kerr face possible discipline for being absent without leave. "They're not locked up or anything," Sanifer said, "but they won't be seeing any more of Wilmington, I can tell you!"

www.hmsbacchante.co.uk  Page Updated 26/06/2006