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Spitfires found in Burma

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Spitfires found in Burma

Old 14th Apr 2012, 09:49
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There is a suggestion elsewhere to convert them to SEAfires for the new carriers.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 09:56
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This makes a bit more sense - the unused acft were disposed of prior to independence, shortly after the war. A not uncommon story, but it can be assumed that no special care was taken with their burial either! A worthy project...time will show how well they has survived.

Still, absolutely crap reporting from both BBC and DT.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 10:22
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Yes, true that there are a number of inconsistencies. Apart from the Mk2's issue, I thought, historically, that two weeks before the atomic bombs were dropped, the Japanese were by that time in no position to invade anywhere. They were to all intents and purposes a defeated force. I thought they had withdrawn well away from the Burma front by that time.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 10:53
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I'm surprised at some of the optimism that they can be restored. I'd have thought that they would be in very bad condition after nearly 70 years underground in a very humid climate, protected only by their wooden transport crates.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 11:11
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Surely these are more likely to be the worn out, slow, old MkII machines which were retired from Europe and shipped out east in an attempt to stop the japanese expansion? I've read somewhere (Churchill maybe??) that a number of those were never unpacked because the jap advance was so quick. Its likely that these were buried in 1942 - NOT 1945 and somehow I expect the key consideration at the time was simply to hide them, not to preserve them.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 11:12
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Agaricus bisporus says it right. Further, if they had dug a hole, they would not have dug any further than they had to. So, not only would the crates have gone but the monsoon rains would have washed a million bugs around the frames.

IF these machines were 'buried' there might be some engine blocks around.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 11:18
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There was a lanc in the uk that showed up complete on a scan in the uk if I remember correctly, however when they attempted an excavation it was simply a " metallic shadow " in the soil, the aircraft having long gone
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 11:27
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Shame they weren't Seafires, at least he would of had something to put on the carriers.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 11:32
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I heard it on the BBC World Service, so it must be true
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 12:09
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I've just revisited the DT story and guess what, it's been reworked to remove all the crap that was reported in the comments, also those comments have gone as well.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 12:09
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There are echoes of the story of Peter Vacher's Hurricane, which he found crated in India in the 80s.

Google R4118 - it has I think four BoB kills.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 12:24
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Peter Vacher's was not crated, far from it, it was used by a technical college but was later dumped outside the technical college in bits rotting away! But more or less complete.

Hurricane Mk I R4118 UP-W

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Old 14th Apr 2012, 12:35
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There was also a 109 found that was in a similar state, afterwards there was a lot of police enquiries saying it had been stolen (it had been sold to a UK collector) but as with such things when someone realises the value etc etc etc..

Tons of pictures here

Warbirds of India - The Warbird Discovery of the Year







All the police searches here

Warbirds of India - The Warbird Discovery of the Year

Last edited by NutLoose; 14th Apr 2012 at 12:49.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 12:37
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Also, rather embarassing and irresponcible to get the PM involved if there's the slightest chance that its all a red herring.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 12:47
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But title ownership raises alsorts of issues, the Buffalo that came out of a lake is one, fascinating read

The Saga of BW-372: the Finnish Brewster finds a home



More and info

Bell P39Q-15BE 44-2911 Airacobra


Hurricane here

Hawker Hurricane IIB ‘Trop’ Z5252
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 13:21
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Excellent cover to get into `Birma`, oil and all that.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 13:48
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I read the article in the DM, but the comments to it were more informed than whoever wrote it, and the prognosis seems to be that they would not be Mark 11, [MK 2?] given they were shipped in 1945, but MK 14 and brand new.

We'll just have to wait and see!
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 14:20
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Shipped in 1945? Earlier reports were that they were buried in 1945.
But hat doesn't make sense. Surely they would have been buried either in 1942 due to the Japanese advance, or in 1947 due to Burmese independence.

But overall the story doesn't add up, because either the stated timing, or the stated reasons, are wrong.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 15:07
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If I had to dispose of surplus aircraft to prevent their use by an enemy I think I would drive the bulldozer over the crates a few times before burying them.

40 large crates at 4' below the surface requires a LOT of excavation - where would they get the time and plant to do that?

Any such work would leave a lot of traces, and it is unlikely that it could be hidden from the locals, who could be 'persuaded' to tell what went on.

Really hope I am wrong, but I doubt if anything flyable could be recovered.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 15:30
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Crated Spitfires
I very much doubt that aircraft would have been crated at any stage. They were assembled at the factory and would have been flown or shipped entire.
ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN MALTA, GIBRALTAR AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1939-1945. | Imperial War Museums

ROYAL AIR FORCE OPERATIONS IN MALTA, GIBRALTAR AND THE MEDITERRANEAN, 1939-1945. | Imperial War Museums
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