‘Puttalam Elephants’ 1944

‘Puttalam Elephants’ 1944

‘Puttalam Elephants’ 1944 – at HMS Rajaliya as the Puttalam airfield was called during World War II – a painting by Robert Taylor – a British artist who specialises in aviation paintings. Now hanging at the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton, England shows a Fleet Air Arm crew based at Puttalam employ their elephant “Fiffi’ to drag a Chance Vought F4U Corsair aircraft from No.1 Corsair squadron of the Naval Operational Training Unit, South East Asia Command (SEAC) back onto the metal runway after it slid off a slippery surface and landed in the mud. Depicting the unusual tactics employed at Puttalam in order to keep the land based naval fighters flying, the Puttalam elephants provided an invaluable service, and became much loved by the pilots and ground crew.

Nishan is a raconteur and a lover of art, history and architecture. His journey began more than 30 years ago when he started collecting and saving copies of publications which captured significant moments in Sri Lankan history. He intends to digitize the contemporary Sri Lankan history even in a smaller way through The Archives.

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