(05th May 1950 - 24th Oct 1958)
The British Government seconded Air Commodore Graham Clerke Bladon to set up the RCyAF, and command it through its formative years.
Air Commodore Bladon was Senior Air Staff Officer of the RAF 62 Group and the Reserve Command covering the whole of the South West of England...click for more
Air Vice Marshal J. L Barker OBE,DFC,RAF
(24th Oct 1958 -12th Nov 1962)
Air Vice Marshal John Lindsay Barker became the RCyAF's second Commander in 1958 at the age of 48. A graduate of Oxford University, and thereafter a barrister-at-Law, Barker went on to forge a relationship with the RAF spanning 26 years.
He was veteran of the RAF's campaign in North Africa, during World War II...click for more
Air Vice Marshal E R Amarasekara DFC & BAR
(12th Nov 1962 - 31st Dec 1970)
Air Vice Marshal Ekanayake Rohan Amarasekera DFC and BAR, was the RCyAF's very own World War II hero, having served with distinction in the RAF.
Amarasekera was a navigator attached to the RAF's Bomber Command. He returned to Ceylon in 1951 as one of the RCyAF's...click for more
Air Chief Marshal P H Mendis MBIM,IDC,psc
(01st Jan 1971 - 01st Nov 1976)
Air Chief Marshal Pathman (Paddy) Mendis, at 38 years of age became the youngest Commander of the Air Force and the youngest Commander of an Armed Service in Ceylon, with his appointment on 1st January 1971.
Air Chief Marshal was the fifth man to join the RCyAF back in August 1951. He went to the UK for training, joining the No. 61 entry to RAF College, Cranwell...click for more
Air Chief Marshal WDH Goonetileke ndc, psc
(01st Nov 1976 - 30th Apr 1981)
Air Chief Marshal Harry Goonetileke became the fifth Commander of the Air Force on 1st November 1976. Educated at Royal College Colombo, young Goonetileke joined the Air Force as a Flight Cadet in 1951 in the first batch of locally trained recruits. He recalls drawing a princely fortnightly allowance of Rs. 28/- in those days!...click for more
Air Chief Marshal D C Perera VSV,ndc,psc
(01st May 1981 - 30th April 1985)
On 1st May 1981 Air Chief Marshal Dick Cuthbert Perera succeeded Air Chief Marshal Harry Goonetileke as Commander of the Air Force.
In many ways ACM Perera was an ideal successor to ACM Goonetileke. He had worked as Chief of Staff with ACM Goonetileke on his airfield reclamation and rehabilitation programmes...click for more
Air Chief Marshal A W Fernando VSV,ndc,psc
(01st May 1985 - 31st July 1990)
In May 1985, Air Chief Marshal Walter Fernando assumed command of the SLAF. Joining the Air Force in January 1953, ACM Fernando was a Cadet in the second batch of pilots to be locally trained.
He went through ground combat training at Diyatalawa and Flight Training at Katunayake...click for more
Air Chief Marshal MJT de Gunawardena VSV,ndc,psc
(01st Aug 1990 - 16th Feb 1994)
Air Chief Marshal MJT de Gunawardena had joined the Air Force in 1960 as an Engineering Officer II/Flying duties. He went on to command Nos. 2 and 3 Squadrons as CO and was also OC of No. 4 Squadron.
He also became Commandant of the Air Force Academy, China Bay in 1980...click for more
Air Chief Marshal OM Ranasinghe RWP,VSV,USP,ndc,psc
(17th Feb 1994 - 05th Mar 1998)
Air Chief Marshal OM Ranasinghe joined the Air Force on 7th February 1968 as a Sergeant Pilot. After training at Diyatalawa in Basic Ground Combat, where he won the Best-Shot Trophy, he went for flying training to the Air Force Academy, China Bay.
Air Chief Marshal Ranasinghe flew the Chipmunk, Dove and Jet Provost aircraft and was awarded his Wings in 1969...click for more
Air Chief Marshal J Weerakkody RWP,VSV,USP,ndc,psc
(06th Mar 1998 - 15th July 2002)
Air Chief Marshal J Weerakkody joined the Air Force on 12th January 1972, as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilots Branch. After initial training, Commander Weerakkody followed a Junior Commanders course at Air Force Administrative College, Coimbatore, India, an Air Command and Staff College course at Maxwell Air Force Base, USA and a course at National Defence College in India...click for more
Air Chief Marshal G D Perera VSV,ndc,psc
(16th July 2002 - 11th June 2006)
Air Chief Marshal G D Perera joined the Sri Lanka Air Force as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilot Branch on 12th January 1972 with the first intake of Cadets.
On successful completion of flying training he was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 19th October 1973...click for more
Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke
(11th June 2006 - 27th February 2011)
Air Chief Marshal WDRMJ Goonetileke joined the Sri Lanka Air Force as an Officer Cadet in the General Duties Pilot Branch on 13 January 1978.
On successful completion of flying training, he was commissioned in the rank of Pilot Officer on 24 August 1979...click for more
Air Chief Marshal HD Abeywickrama
(27th February 2011 - 27th February 2014)
Air Chief Marshal Harsha Duminda Abeywickrama was born on 28 November 1960. He joined the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) with the 8th Intake of Officer Cadets in 1980 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in 1982.
At the inception of his career in the early 1980s, combat flying was non-existent due to the relatively ...click for more
Air Chief Marshal KA Gunatilleke
(27th February 2014 - 15th June 2015)
Air Chief Marshal Kolitha Gunatilleke joined the SLAF in 1980 as an Officer Cadet of the 8th Intake. He graduated from the Air Force Academy, China Bay, and was commissioned a Pilot Officer in April 1982. He was awarded his flying brevet on successful completion of his basic and advanced flying training. ...click for more
Air Chief Marshal Gagan Bulathsinghala
(15th June 2015 - 12th September 2016)
Air Marshal Gagan Pulasthi Bulathsinghala was born on 12th September 1961. He joined the Sri Lanka Air Force as an Officer Cadet on 12th of February 1981 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the General Duties Pilot Branch on 8th April 1983. ...click for more