Spitfires buried in Burma during war could be returned to UK
Many good things look to be coming out of the recent political shift taking place in Burma and the diplomatic visit from the Prime Minister a few days ago. One of the more minor results - small in the grand scheme of things but of great interest to the likes of you and me - is the potential repatriation of no less than 20 Supermarine Spitfires that were buried in the Burmese jungle at the end of the Second World War.
|Spitfires in Burma, August 1945|
These twenty Spits - almost half as many as are currently airworthy worldwide - never saw action as it was feared, even as late as July 1945, that a Japanese invasion of Burma was being planned. Rather than let valuable war materiél fall into enemy hands it was decided to bury them as they were. A matter of weeks later the atomic bombs ended the war and the aeroplanes have remained undisturbed ever since.
The thought of increasing the number of flyable Spits by almost 50% sounds almost too good to be true - all the more so given the time-capsulesque nature of this discovery. By the sounds of it things seem to be moving fast, though, and these twenty lost Spitfires - probably Mark VIIIs, which were among the most numerous variants in the Pacific theatre at the time - could be back in the country and undergoing well-deserved restoration very soon.