A Fleet Air Arm crew based at Puttalam in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) employ their elephant "Fiffi' to drag a Corsair back onto the metal runway after it slid off a slippery surface and landed in the mud.
Commissioned by one of the Corsair pilots stationed at H.M.S. Rajaliya in 1942, Robert Taylor's superb painting "Puttalam Elephants" is one of many originals by Robert, hanging in the wonderful art collection of the Fleet Air Arm Museum at Yeovilton. Much admired by tens of thousands of visitors each year, this painting depicts the unusual tactics employed at Puttalam in order to keep the land based naval fighters flying. Operating happily in conditions where towing tractors quickly became bogged down, the Puttalam elephants provided an invaluable service, and became much loved by the pilots and ground crew.