Down South is home to a number of historical places in Sri Lanka. Among all, Koggala air base holds a significant importance relating to the World War II. Koggala air base was home to RAF PBY Catalina’s Short Sunderlands, the famed Sea plane squadrons, 202, 204 & 205 of WWII.
One of them operating out of Koggala located the Imperial Japanese navy sailing towards the Ceylon and radioed the location, but gave away their own location, the old hands will tell you a story of a catalina having a running battle with the most feared Japanese WWII fighter. The, then allied supreme commander of far east Lord Louis Mountbatton, sent the British fleet to engage the Imperial Japanese navy and lost the world’s first purpose built aircraft carrier off the shores of Batticaloa, Sri Lanka.
Today the airbase has been converted into a civilian aerodrome for sea planes and the air strip caters to small civilian traffic, you can never miss the base where a glorious Avro 742 rest’s permanently.