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Pilot Officer Ananda Kularatne was a Sri Lankan airman of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who died during the Second World War.

He was born on 25 December 1921, in Colombo, Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka), the son of Patrick de Silva and Hilda Muriel Kularatne (née Westbrook), of England. His father was a noted educationalist and politician during the colonial period and post-independence, while his mother was principal of Ananda Balika and founder of two girls' schools.[1]

Kularatne received his higher education at Ananda College and University College. It was while at the latter institution that Kularatne took an active interest in aviation, taking flying lessons at Ratmalana Airport.[1] He volunteered for the Royal Air Force in 1941 and undertook training in Britain. Upon qualifying in July 1943, Kularatne joined 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, with which he completed 25 operational missions over occupied Europe.[1] He died on 16 February 1944, when his Handley Page Halifax (HX155) was lost to unknown causes while engaged on a raid against Berlin. It was suspected that the aircraft had been shot down off the German coast.[2]

Kularatne, who had married Holly Margaret Bradley in 1943, has no known grave and is commemorated by the Runnymede Memorial.

NotesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Perera, Janaka (2011), P. de S. Kularatne – legend of Ananda, asiantribune.com. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
  2. Storr, Alan (2006), RAAF Personnel Serving on Attachment in Royal Air Force Squadrons and Support Units in World War 2 and Missing with No Known Grave, p. 79, awm.gov.au. Retrieved 20 October 2012.

ReferencesEdit

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