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Spitfires found in Burma

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Spitfires found in Burma

Old 14th Apr 2012, 15:53
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I do hope that the PM was better briefed than the Medja on these spitfires when he met the Burmese authorities!
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 16:22
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Lets hope they put those little bags of silica in before sealing them up

Reminds me of the story of a chap out for a stroll near Carlisle just after the end of the 2nd WW.

Intrigued by strange noises he arrived at the edge of an aerodrome to see rows of a/c including Spitfires. The strange noise was made by one of those mammoth bulldozers the Americans brought over.

It was being driven up and down the lines of parked a/c crushing them flat.

Talking to the driver later he was offered his pick of the remainder Spits for 25 each, no engine.

If only...

SGC
 
Old 14th Apr 2012, 17:20
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"Good of the PM to get personally involved".
Probably thinks he can use them, to save a bit of money on replacing our current front-line aircraft.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 17:50
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This is absolutely magnificent news, if the aircraft are flyable even better! I hope that they are mark II's. Arguably the best looking Spitfire's along with the mark I. It will be very interesting to see how this progresses and hopefully they will be restored.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 17:55
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So why would Boultbee be dropping 0.5m pounds (More than that I hear) on the table to recover a pile of squashed scrap - Yes, the data plates are valuable, but I think this may be more than that....

One can assume that they (And the PM's advisors) have seen the ground scans and are happy with what they see...
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 18:15
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Soon after WW2 an uncle, who was a scrap metal dealer, was viewing redundant Spitfires at the MU at Ternhill. He was quoted 100. When he hesitated over the price he was told "no, no that's for ten of them".
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 19:05
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...abandoned them on the orders of Lord Louis Mountbatten...
Yet more imbecility from that over-promoted charlatan (and later TSR2 murderer) Mountbottom....
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 19:30
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On the subject of hidden aircraft, I remember being told by Doug Arnold in 1979 that he was in negotiations with the Russian authorities for SIX Armstrong Whitley Albemarles. When I expressed surprise at their survival he assured me that the aircraft were real and largely intact. Sadly that was the first and the last I heard about it.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 19:34
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Thats another part of the story that doesn't add up. If they were buried to hide them from the Japs in (as the Telegraph put it) "the Allied withdrawl from Burma" then that would have been in 1942 - before Battenburg was appointed as Supreme Commander South East Asia Command (in Oct 1943). By then we were out of Burma
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 20:04
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It's sad that so few WWII Aircraft were kept in one piece.

Here are the photos of the Oakey Spitfires all lined up
and being broken up.

RAAF Radschool Magazine, Vol 36. Page 13
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 20:09
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MM - agreed - the narrative doesn't make sense. I've just checked my modest library and I can find no reference to any Spitfires being deployed in the ABDA area before 1945. As mentioned above, these Spitfires are more likely to have been surplus during the British withdrawal in late '46/early '47. Mountbatten had moved on by then (the BMA was disestablished in 1946); in any case it's unlikely that he would have had any interest in the minutiae of aircraft that may not have been 'on charge'.

Are then any websites related to these finds?
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 20:14
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Probably thinks he can use them, to save a bit of money on replacing our current front-line aircraft.
Sharksandwich, beat me to it! Maybe we sold the GR9s to the US, safe in the knowledge these were coming available!
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 21:09
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They could always fit hooks and use them on the Queen Elizabeth.
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Old 14th Apr 2012, 21:10
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I do hope that matters of considerably more importance were actually on the agenda for talks between heads of governments.

Like many, I did wonder if this was a story two weeks late in making the press!!

Come to think of it, if Camerloon does think these are the rare pre production batch of SPURTfire jet fighters, (sent to Burma to be piloted by captured kamikaze pilots??) he might need them back to provide the aircraft for the two fleet carriers and save making a decision of which F35 to buy......

The way things are going, we may soon only have Cameron hot air balloons as the first line of defence. I can see scrambling a squadron of them to deal with a helicopter being just as much sense as two Typhoons trying to keep pace with a chopper!!
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 08:47
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Today's follow-on article in the DT makes a bit more sense - Spits were sent out towards the end of the war, never flown, surplus to requirements, then disposed of by burying. Apparently the radar imagery shows the aircraft still stacked in packing cases. No mention of the Japanese or Mountbatten, for that matter. Here's hoping...
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 08:58
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Newer report, with a seemingly more fitting information:

British farmer’s quest to find lost Spitfires in Burma - Telegraph
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 10:59
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I'm going to play the optimism card Possible vs probable doesn't always mean failure and with such high level involvement I'm going to suspend disbelief.

As for deterioration, there have been many wrecks lifted out of lakes etc so why not look on the bright side of life - de dum, de dum, de dumdee dumdee dum

Even if there has been decay there may well be enough 'bits' to make it worthwhile.

SGC

Last edited by Sir George Cayley; 15th Apr 2012 at 12:10.
 
Old 15th Apr 2012, 11:47
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Burma 45

... On suggestions that the Japanese in 1945 were virtually defeated and had virtually retreated from Burma prior to the eve of the dropping of the
A bomb - It is on record that also in 1945 Mountbatten gave the order for the 20 crated spits in Burma to be buried - 'To prevent them falling into enemy hands' - Not exactly consistant with any beleif that a triumphant allied force had finally arrived and had defeated and removed a ruthless foe.

The Japanese were very much a determined force to be reckoned with
right up to the final days of surrender as most Far East veterans
will confirm.

...
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 13:19
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Not too much drift here I hope but a lot of stores were buried in the FI, including a 1 tonne engine and gearbox (excavated and used in the 90's) and a load of Sun newspaper donated microwaves that were used to support Spandrell Alley. These were all in ISO containers which provided a fair degree of protection although the microwaves were all t1ts IIRC.
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Old 15th Apr 2012, 14:22
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I remember the Sun doing a collection for the Troops is NI for Xmas to buy Videos and a Video player, ( for those that don't know, it's an analogue DVD that comes on tape ) the response was outstanding and we were awash with money, so a Video and collection of tapes were bought and the remainder was blown on several barrels of beer
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