Amerasekera, Ekanayake Edward Rohan

Date of birth:
May 21st, 1916 (Kegalle, Ceylon)
Date of death:
March 20th, 1974 (Colombo, Sri Lanka)
Nationality:
Shrilankan

Biography

Servicenumber 155926.

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. He was commissioned while serving with No. 158 Squadron as a Pilot Officer, General Duties (Navigator) Branch RAFVR. This squadron was equipped with Halifax II's and engaged in strategic bombing duties.
In 1943 he transferred to No. 35 Squadron of the Pathfinder Force but went back to his old squadron. In August 1944 he joined No. 640 Squadron, serving till 1945. He completed 52 operations.
He returned to Ceylon in Early 1946 and served at RAF Kandy, Ceylon until August 1946 and resigned his commission on November, 1946.
Amerasekera joined the Department of Civil Aviation of Ceylon on August 20, 1946 as the Assistant Aerodrome Officer (Flying Control) at the Ratmalana Airport, while on leave from the RAF, and on October 1, 1950, he was promoted to Acting Airport Controller.
He left this Department on May 1951 to join the newly formed Royal Ceylon Air Force under the Command of Group captain Graham Bladon, an officer seconded from the RAF. On May 15, 1951 he was commissioned as Pilot Officer and promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader with effect from the same date. In 1955 he was promoted to the rank of Wing Commander, followed by promotions to the ranks of Group Captain (July 1, 1959), Temporary Air Commodore (November 13, 1962), Air Commodore (January 1, 1964) and Air Vice-Marshal (October 1, 1967). Thus becoming third Commander of the Royal Ceylon Air Force in 1962.
Whilst in RCyAF, Amerasekera received the Ceylon Armed Services Long Service Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal and the Ceylon Armed Services Inauguration Medal .
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.

September 30, 1941: enlisted as Aircraftman 2nd class.
February 20, 1942: promoted to Leading Aircraftman.
November 30, 1942: promoted to Temporary Sergeant.
July 29, 1943: commissioned as a Pilot Officer.
January 29, 1944: promoted to Flying Officer.
July 29, 1945: promoted to Flight Lieutenant.

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Pilot Officer
Unit:
No. 158 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
February 15th, 1944
Action:
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."
Details:
Decorated mainly for dedication and bravery shown on November 11, 1943 on his mission to Cannes.
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 640 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on:
September 4th, 1945
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
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."
Periode:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With France and Germany bar
Air Crew Europe Star

Sources