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Author Topic: Burma's Buried Spitfires  (Read 36291 times)

Chris Johnson

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Burma's Buried Spitfires
« on: April 14, 2012, 08:22:31 AM »

News from the BBC Burmas Buried Spitfires
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2012, 08:46:55 AM »

News from the BBC Burmas Buried Spitfires

Sounds like good news Chris. If we can get them restored we would have something to put on board the 2 new aircraft carriers under construction instead of having to wait 10 years. Only us Brits could build carriers and not have planes to put on them ;D
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 12:02:27 PM »

Ah, beat me to the punch on this one. Although I'm kind of doubtful the planes will be in near perfect condition, bearing in mind the climate there, still ... WOW.

LTM,
Monty Fowler
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Matt Rimmer

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 12:25:01 PM »

It's an interesting story. I would be interested to know what the long term plans are for these aircraft,will they be conserved properly rather than "restord"? will they be displayed in museums as original examples of an iconic aircraft,or like most Spits will they be restored to the point of being a virtual replica and painted in bogus markings? and will the recovery be carried out using archaeological best practice?.

I don't wish to rain on anyones campfire and would love to see them conserved and displayed properly.
 
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John Joseph Barrett

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 04:31:12 PM »

Were Spitfires, or other aircraft for that matter, shipped in crates. I've seen pictures of separated fuselages and wings being hosited aboard cargo ships and lined up awaiting shipment, but never any in crates per se. Sort of like the US governent having crates of leftover jeeps stacked here and there. I never saw any proof of that either. I'm not saying it isn't possible. I've always loved the Spitfire and would really like for this to be true.
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 08:32:07 PM »

I've seen Jeeps in crates, and one Triumph motorcycle in a crate, as well as (much later) Land Rovers in crates.  It would seem that it was not uncommon for a manufacturing country to allow shipment of "CKD" (Completetely Knocked Down) vehicles after the war...
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 09:00:14 PM »

During WWII the U.S. shipped a large amount of aircraft partially assembled in crates. I have references and photo's in storage that show aircraft from L-4's to B-26 Marauders being assembled in the open air. There are many references to the P-40B's of the AVG in China, P-39's, P-40's at Guadalcanal, P-47B and C's being assembled in Britain. There is no reason to assume the British manufacturers didn't ship thier aircraft in the same manner.

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Thom Boughton

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2012, 10:42:38 PM »

TIGHAR #3159R
 
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Matt Rimmer

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 10:02:49 AM »

Reading through the various news reports and watching the short piece on the BBC One Show last night the picture is about as clear as mud,though this could be due to poor reporting!.

It seems the presumed location of the buried Spits has been confirmed by geophysics but until a dig takes place the actual condition of the aircraft(assuming it is the Spitfires they have located and not a general dump) can't really be confirmed. While there's no hard and fast rule over airfield and equipment dumps there was a tendency to crush whatever was being buried,eg by driving over it with a tracked vehicle or burning it. Just consider the size of hole required to bury one Spitfire and how much soil it would displace...

I really hope this is not the case and these aircraft are located still crated,and that at least one will be preserved in "as found" condition.

Matt.
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Chris Austin

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2012, 08:16:27 AM »

Were Spitfires, or other aircraft for that matter, shipped in crates. I've seen pictures of separated fuselages and wings being hosited aboard cargo ships and lined up awaiting shipment, but never any in crates per se. Sort of like the US governent having crates of leftover jeeps stacked here and there. I never saw any proof of that either. I'm not saying it isn't possible. I've always loved the Spitfire and would really like for this to be true.

I can't quote for Spitfires per se, but in his history "Fortress Malta", James Holland mentions that the early Axis attacks on the island were met by Gloster Gladiators hastily assembled from their crates; the planes having been intended for R.N. carrier use and delivered to Malta for trans-shipment to their assigned carrier. So crating aircraft was a practice used by the UK.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2012, 05:12:20 PM »

Chris, the Spitfires that were sent to help defend Malta were flown there from the Carrier 'Eagle' in the Med'. If there is any truth in the Burma Spifires story I would guess they were shipped there as opposed to flown in from a carrier, too risky being so close to Japanese held territory.

http://maltagc70.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/7-march-1942-first-15-spitfires-arrive-doubling-maltas-air-force/
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Chris Austin

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 08:21:45 AM »

That was the point I was making, they had to reassemble obsolescent a/c from the shipment crates.
Indeed, Malta's early air defence was a scandal as it wasn't recognised as a vital stronghold by London at first. They urgently needed state of the art fighters, but were only sent Hurricane Mk 1's, not even the Mk 2's available at the time, and then in insufficient numbers to cope with the heavy attacks. Poor organization when replacements (even the later Spitfires from Eagle, Furious & Wasp) landed meant that many were destroyed on the ground before they could be refuelled and armed - the pilots kit being stowed in the ammunition bays. The guns had not even been range harmonised and even the radios were not set-up. It took a worryingly long time before all these errors were corrected.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2012, 01:18:28 PM »

Quote
Sort of like the US governent having crates of leftover jeeps stacked here and there. I never saw any proof of that either.

You may have never seen proof, I have.  I owned one of them crated jeeps.  Fort Drum, NY was selling surplus WWII excess equipment in the mid 70's so that they could tear down the substandard warehouse facilities and replace with new ones.  Surplus included were WWII Jeeps, being sold in lots of 10 for just over $1,000 a lot which was only slightly more then scrap price.  To make a long story short myself and 6 others got together the money and bought a lot of them.  When they arrived and you opened the crate it became evident that the crates should have been marked "some assembly required".  Also the tires were no good as they were dryrot checked and held air but couldn't be trusted for driving on, so there was the added cost of replacing them and the 6 volt battery.  Then it took forever to get a title issued and it registered to be able to drive them.

Trust me they did exist, just had to be in the right place at the right time.  As a matter of fact visited the one I used to own back in 2006, though it is a 1945 model it was'nt put together and driven until 1975.  I sold it to a friend who still owns it.  He doesn't drive it much on the road because they really weren't designed to be comfortable or cruisers.  He is still partners in our old deer hunting camp up near Moose Lake and they usually use that to get down those old beatup dirt roads leading to the foothills of the Adirondac Mts.  Most of the other guys would'nt even dare to attempt to take their 4WD up those roads. 

LTM,

Don
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Shaw Durman

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 11:16:43 AM »

On the subject of buried stuff, local rumour has it that Porthcawl habour in South Wales, UK, used to be very much bigger. The story goes at the end of WWII, loads of US Military jeeps, trucks and other vehicles were dumped in there and it was covered over.
You can still see now where the current area of the habour extended way back inland.

Wether true or not, I am unsure, but I am deffinately curious! :-)
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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LTM,

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