Ceylonese in the RAF (1939-45)



Ceylonese in the RAF (1939-45)


Lists of Ceylonese in three batches and miscellaneous arrivals who volunteered for and joined the RAF with some details of their service. Includes b/w photograph of Sergeant Rex De Silva in 1943.



Two page printed document


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.



S102SqnRAF19170809v10001-0001, S102SqnRAF19170809v10001-0002


[underlined] Ceylonese in the RAF (1939-45) [/underlined]

[underlined] Batch One [/underlined]

Applications filled in Ceylon in Sept 1940. Interviewed and selected and shipped to UK. Left Ceylon in June 1941 and arrived in UK on Sept 28, 1941. Enlisted at Euston Sept 30 1941
(Amerasekera’s Service Number 1396932).

1. Ekanayake Edward (Rohan) Amerasekera (Navigator with No 158 and 640 Sqns. DFC & Bar. 52 sorties [Two tours]. Later commanded the RCyAF. Died 1974)
2. Mervyn Rex de Silva (Spitfire Pilot. Now living in Australia)
3. Fred Brohier
4. Shelton Flamer-Caldera (Hurricane Pilot, Killed in crash at Minneriya, Ceylon)
5. Noel Pieris
6. St.Elmo Muller
7. Brian VanCuylenburg
8. Emil Jayawardena
9. Shirley Perera
10. Graydon Joachim

The following are from the 1st batch, but failed to qualify for Aircrew duties.
11. Balachandran
12. Wanigasekera
13. Omardeen
14. Justin Perera
15. C.A.S. Perera

[underlined] Batch Two [/underlined]

Enlisted at Euston around Dec 3, 1941.

1. George Frederick Dugald Abayasekera 1399697. F/Sgt in 18 SQN. KIA May 22, 1944, over Malta.

2. Ananda Kularatne 1399701. Enlisted at Euston Dec 3, 1941, P/O 158038, Pilot in No 102 SQN. KIA Feb 15, 1944

3. Vincent Francis Fernando 1399826. KIA Aug 3, 1943

4. Jacotine (as per Roy de Niese. Spitfire Pilot, killed in a raid over Germany)

5. R. Sielman (as per Roy de Niese. Spitfire Pilot. Now living in UK?)

6. Brohier (as per de Niese. F/O. Navigator) This could be a Duplicate entry for the Brohier in 1st batch.

[page break]

[underlined] Batch Three [/underlined]

There were Eleven trainees in this batch and they commenced Local Flying training in Ceylon in 1942, at the Aero club in Ratmalana. They travelled in Aug 1942 and arrived in London in Nov 1942. Enlisted at Euston on Nov 19, 1942.

1. Roy J. de Niese 1811843, (Navigator. Now living in Australia)
2. P.B. Mawalagedera (Pilot, now living in Sri Lanka)
3. George E.L. Ferdinand (Pilot. Died in 1996?)
4. Royle Jansen (Aircraft Maintenance. Now deceased)
5. Dixon Kotelawela (Trainee Pilot. Medical release. Deceased)
6. Dion Bennett (Pilot. Now deceased)
7. Hector Asserappa (Pilot. Now deceased)
8. C.H.S. Amerasekera (Pilot. Later Director, Dept of Civil Aviation in Sri Lanka. Died 1997)
9. Kingsley Werkmeister (Aircraft Maintenance. Now deceased)
10. Clement Andrews (Meteorology. Now living in Australia)
11. Albert Thambyrajah Paramanathan 1813355 (Sgt. Pilot. Died March 21, 1946. Shortly after obtaining ‘wings’, died in Flying accident)

[underlined] Misc. [/underlined]

The following persons were from Ceylon, but I haven’t identified which batch they belonged to. Some had joined the RAF before the war and others had joined on their own (probably before the RAF started recruiting in Ceylon)

1. 138476 F/O Peter John Playfair. 642 SQN. Lost Aug 7, 1943
2. 147211 P/O Desmond Clive Camden Busby CGM. Pilot. 156 SQN. Lancaster ED863 missing from ops to Koln. 17 June 1943.
3. 531489 Cpl. Conrad Francis William Fisher. 908 Balloon SQN, Died Oct 29, 1939.
4. 40402 W/Cdr. Anthony Desmond Joseph Lovell DSO/bar, DFC/bar, DFC (USA). Died when his Spitfire crashed while he performed acrobatics Aug 17, 1945.
5. Stuart James ‘Stu’ Lovell. Brother of above.
6. 1153101 Sgt. Joseph Oswald Maurice Lobo. 99 SQN. Lost Nov 15, 1941. (Roy de Niese referred to him as ‘Pat’ Lobo)
7. 1800190 LAC (Nav) Seva Suriyapillai Sinniah

RAF Sgt. Pilot Rex De Silva in 1943.


“Ceylonese in the RAF (1939-45),” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed June 13, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/38307.

Item Relations

Item: Letter concerning third batch of Ceylonese joining the RAF dcterms:relation This Item