Clancy Fernando

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W.W.E. Clancy Fernando 
Admiral Clancy Fernando
Birth nameWannakuwatta Waduge Erwin Clancy Fernando
Born(1938-10-10)10 October 1938
Died16 November 1992(1992-11-16) (aged 54)
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Allegiance Sri Lanka
Service/branch Sri Lanka Navy
Years of service35 years
Rank15-Sri Lanka Navy-ADM.svg Admiral
Commands heldCommander of the Sri Lankan Navy
Battles/warsSri Lankan Civil War
AwardsVishista Seva Vibhushanaya medal bar.svg Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya
Uttama Seva ribbon bar.svg Uttama Seva Padakkama

Admiral Wannakuwatta Waduge Erwin Clancy Fernando VSV, USP, MSc, ndc, psc, MNI, SLN (In Sinhalese: ක්ලැන්සි ෆර්නැන්ඩෝ) (10 October 1938 – 16 November 1992 ) was the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy from 1 November 1991 to 16 November 1992. He was assassinated by the LTTE[1] in 1992, as the most senior officer in the Sri Lankan military to be killed in the line of duty.


Admiral Fernando received his secondary education at Prince of Wales' College, Moratuwa. He was a member of the team Western Band Prince of Wales' College, Moratuwa. After leaving school he enlisted as a cadet officer in the Royal Ceylon Navy in December 1957. After completing basic training, he proceeded for training at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, United Kingdom.

Admiral W.W.E.C. Fernando held the memberships of the British Institute of Management, and the Nautical Institute of U.K and had obtained a master's degree in defence studies. He had also been conferred with the certificate of Master Mariners and was the first President of Sri Lanka Branch of the Nautical Institute of U.K.

Admiral Fernando was a graduate of Defence Services Staff College, Wellington, India and from the National Defence College in New Delhi.

Naval career[edit]

Within the Sri Lankan Navy, he held the ranks of midshipman, sub lieutenant, lieutenant, lieutenant commander, commander, captain and commodore respectively. During which time he commanded the SLNS Gajabahu, the flagship of the fleet. In 1991, he was promoted to the rank of rear admiral and held the post of the Chief of Staff of the navy, shortly he was promoted to the rank of vice admiral on appointment to the office of the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy. After becoming navy commander he intensified naval operations against the LTTE, effectively denying the terrorist free use of the sea.

During his service years, he introduced the Sinhala communication system into the navy and authored the book on ‘Customs and etiquettes of Services’.

Admiral W.W.E.C. Fernando was awarded the Vishista Seva Vibhushanaya, Uttama Seva Padakkama, Sri Lanka Armed Services Long Service Medal and Clasp, Republic of Sri Lanka Armed Services Medal, Ceylon Armed Services Long Services Medal and Clasp, Purna Bhumi Medal, President’s Inauguration Medal and the Sri Lanka Navy 25th Anniversary Medal.


He was assassinated by a LTTE suicide bomber[1] who drove an explosives laden motorbike into his staff car on the 16 November 1992 at 8.35 a.m, in front of the Galle Face Green. Killed in the bombing was Lieutenant (posthumously lieutenant-commander) Sandun Gunasekera, his flag lieutenant and his driver. He was on his way to naval headquarters at Flagstaff Street in the Galle Buck from his official residence "Navy House" at Longden Place, Colombo after he returned from India after discussing Indo-Sri Lankan naval cooperation. He was posthumously promoted to admiral.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
H. A. Silva
Commander of the Sri Lankan Navy
Succeeded by
D. A. M. R. Samarasekara