It really is a classic (by the way I like the Telegraph!). How many "confusions" in this single paragraph? -
However, advances in technology and the emergence of more agile jets meant they were never used and in August 1945, officials fearing a Japanese occupation abandoned them on the orders of Lord Louis Mountbatten, the head of South East Asia Command, two weeks before the atom bombs were dropped, ending the conflict.
Forget about the crap journalism, you can't expect anything else these days, but the fact that a farmer from Lincolnshire has found these ac in Burma is amazing. Yes, he will probably recoup his money and probably more, but would you want them to stay in crates 40ft down in foreign soil??? The cynics should direct their angst towards things like the lottery fund, who would rather dish out the funds to some lame-half-arsed pinko project rather than secure our history, but hey there you go!
I wonder if this find will re-invigorate the search for the Lancasters at Elsham?
I have tried to follow this story and I even checked the date to ensure it wasn't the RAF's birthday. But it makes very little sense. Dates, Marks, locations are all over the place. For example, why were US servicemen involved in their disposal? Why did SACSEA (Mountbatten) order their disposal, fearing that they'd be grabbed by the Japanese, when in mid 1945 the Japs were finished in Burma? MK II Spits? Delivered in Late 1941 - but not touched until 1945?
I hope these inconsistencies are due to poor reporting (qv ad naseum) and the aircraft are found - but it all sounds a bit speculative (BBC claim they could be found; DT that they have) and reminds me for the search 40 years ago for 'crated' Boeing seaplanes from WWI stored in the tunnels of North Head, Auckland.
Last edited by Whenurhappy; 14th Apr 2012 at 08:04.
I don't own this space under my name. I should have leased it while I still could
Join Date: Dec 2002
What would make sense is a late delivery when they were no longer needed hence they were not uncrated and then dumped as they were surplus to requirements and uneconomic to return to UK or give to one of the liberated countries.
Camerloon can now state he has provided RAF with 40 "New" planes
Burma has some oil and as its important to screw China he will do any deal that will see UK influence back in a country that HMG so lovingly looked after as a benevolent part of the Empire all those years ago.
Interestingly the Mail has a slightly different slant on why they were buried:
"But the Mark II Spitfires in the secret haul never saw action. Earl Mountbatten issued an order for them to be hidden in 1945 to prevent foreign forces from getting their hands on them as the British army demobilised. The aircraft, straight from the production line, were buried in crates at a depth of 4ft to 6ft to preserve them."
Truely fascinating news if true. Good of the PM to get personally involved. Doubt the reports of them being Mk2's being true though. Most probably much later marks. Mk2's were well obsolete by then, and probably not even shipped to Burma in the first place. Our friend Peter will probably confirm this.
"Huge Saxon Gold Treasure Hoard "May" be found in Your Garden!"
How many dozen hoards of buried unused and crated aircraft have we been told about over the years? And how many have materialised? Who would go to the effort of digging a hole big enough for that in fear of an iminent enemy invasion when a hundred gallons of avgas would have done the same job of disposal for one ten thousandth of the effort?
The Telegraph article is so riddled with nonsense and inconsistencies (even by Journalistic "standards") it is hard to believe there really is a fact amongst them. Anyway wooden crates will have rotted and collapsed in 70 years crushing the contents flat under umpteen feet of sodden tropical dirt. There aint gonna be much useful left I fear.
It would be lovely if it were true but I'm not holding my breath.
Last edited by Agaricus bisporus; 14th Apr 2012 at 09:59.