The necessities of war often create unusual events – none more so than at a Corsair fighter station on a tropical island in the Indian Ocean
The hastily constructed airstrip of HMS Rajaliya was carved out of dense jungle at Puttalam and the metal Somerfield tracking enabled Corsairs to use the runway. During the monsoon season the Corsair’s tricky landing characteristics often sent them slithering off into the water-logged ground. It was then that the Navy called in its secret weapon to haul the Corsairs back to firmer ground – The Puttalam Elephants!
Operating happily in conditions where towing tractors became quickly bogged down, the Puttalam Elephants provided an invaluable service, and became much loved by the pilots and ground crews.
THE LIMITED EDITION
Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm fighter pilots who flew the F4U Corsair have added further significance by signing each print in the edition.
Lieutenant ERIC BEECHINOR
Sub-Lieutenant TONY MAYLETT
Sub Lieutenant GORDON DUNNELL RNVR
THE FLEET AIR ARM FOLIO
Each copy has been signed by a further Five of the Royal Navy’s most distinguished fighter pilots.
Captain ERIC “WINKLE” BROWN CBE DSC FRAES
Sub-Lieutenant VICTOR KAIRIS
Lieutenant CYRIL PRICE
Lieutenant Commander PETER TWISS OBE DSC*
Lieutenant Commander BRUCE VIBERT