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Ameresekere, Ekanayake Edward Rohan

    Date of birth:
    May 21st, 1916 (Kegalle, Ceylon)
    Date of death:
    March 20th, 1974 (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
    Service number:
    155926
    Nationality:
    Shrilankan (1796-1948, British Crown Colony)

    Biography

    At The outbreak of World War II Edward Rohan Amerasekera joined the Ceylon Defence Force but was forced out by his sister and other family members. He then, secretly applied to join the Royal Air Force, was selected and left for England with the first batch of RAF Recruits from Ceylon in June 1941 on the S.S. Exeter. Reaching England on September 28, 1941, he enlisted at Euston at the Central Recruitment Centre.

    Promotions:
    September 30th, 1941: Aircraftman 2nd class;
    February 20th, 1942: Leading Aircraftman;
    November 30th, 1942: Temporary Sergeant;
    July 29th, 1943: Pilot Officer.
    January 29th, 1944: Flying Officer;
    July 29th, 1945: Flight Lieutenant;
    August 20th, 1946: Assistant Aerodrome Officer (Flying Control);
    October 1st, 1950: Acting Airport Controller;
    May 15th, 1951: Pilot Officer (Ceylon);
    May 15th, 1951: Squadron Leader (Ceylon);
    1955: Wing Commander (Ceylon);
    July 1st, 1959: Group Captain (Ceylon);
    November 13th, 1962: Temporary Air Commodore (Ceylon);
    January 1st, 1964: Air Commodore (Ceylon);
    October 1st, 1967: Air Vice-Marshal (Ceylon).

    Career:
    ?: Ceylon Defence Force;
    ?: Royal Air Force;
    ?: No. 158 Squadron;
    1943: No. 35 Squadron;
    ?: No. 158 Squadron;
    August 1944: No. 640 Squadron;
    1946: RAF Kandy, Ceylon;
    August 20th, 1946: Ratmalana Airport, Department of Civil Aviation of Ceylon;
    May 1951: Royal Ceylon Air Force;
    1962: Commander, Royal Ceylon Air Force.

    Rohan Amerasekera died on March 20, 1974 at the age of 57. He was accorded a funeral with full military honours by the Government of Sri Lanka. His ceremonial sword and the miniature medals are on display at the Sri Lanka Air Force Museum.

    Sometimes his name is written as Ekanayake Edward Rohan Amerasekera.

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Pilot Officer
    Unit:
    No. 158 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    February 15th, 1944
    Citation:
    "This officer has displayed a high degree of courage and determination in navigating his aircraft to the target and back, often under great difficulties. In November 1943 whilst on a flight to a distant target, the oxygen supply failed early in the sortie. P/O. Amerasekera, though suffering from lack of oxygen and extreme cold continued his duties and the mission was successfully completed. This officer has proved himself to be a navigator of outstanding ability."
    Decorated mainly for dedication and bravery shown on November 11, 1943 on his mission to Cannes.
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Flying Officer
    Unit:
    No. 640 Squadron, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    September 4th, 1945
    Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
    Citation:
    "This officer has completed his second tour of operational duty. In December 1944, whilst on route to Essen, his aircraft was engaged by searchlights and heavy anti-aircraft fire was encountered causing severe damage to the aircraft. Despite the fact that shell splinters penetrated his compartment, F/O Amerasekera took evasive action and completed his allotted task. His other targets have included the Ruhr Valley, Chemnitz and Hanover. On all occasions, F/O Amerasekera has set a fine example by his tenacity and devotion to duty."
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    With France and Germany bar
    Air Crew Europe Star
    Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation Medal 1953
    Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration Medal

    Sources

    Photo