Two photos showing Flight Lieutenant Eric Marsh, 132 Squadron Royal Air Force in Ceylon, 1945. F/Lt Marsh flew Spitfire Mk. VIII when he was first posted to Ceylon in late January 1945 with 132 Squadron. He described the base with it’s single strip in the Ceylon jungle at Vavuniya as being very comfortable and dry, It had its own power plant and well constructed permanent buildings including a movie theatre.
The unit was sent to Ceylon in preparation for the Operation Zipper, capturing of either Port Swettenham or Port Dickson in Malaya as a prelude for the recapture of Singapore. In the event these plans never materialised.
Shortly after they had arrived the Squadron handed over their Spitfires Mk. VIII and re-equipped with the Griffon-powered Mk XIV’s. F/L Marsh described the Mk XIV as not being as gentle in handling as the Mk. VIII’s due to the much higher engine torque. Once the Squadron was comfortable with their new Spitfires it was moved to Madura in Southern India.
Marsh survived the War and left India on the M.V “Reina Del Pacifico” with his Squadron to return to England on January 28th 1946. He passed away in Nanaimo, British Columbia on May 18, 2007.
The last picture of Eric Marsh was taken in May of 2006 at the Y2-K Spitfire hangar at Comox, British Columbia.