Lost Spitfires Found Burma (Photo) Spitfires Found Burma

Wednesday, 18 April 2012 | comments

Lost Spitfires Found Burma (Photo) Spitfires Found Burma---Lost WWII planes found after 15-year hunt: 15 years and $200,000 on an artifact treasure hunt, British farmer David Cundall, 62, hit pay dirt this year when he helped uncover 20 long-lost, rare WWII planes in a reclusive Asian country. British soldiers reportedly buried the planes in the closing days of World War II to prevent them from falling into enemy hands.

lost Spitfires that were buried in Burma during the Second World War could return to the skies.

David Cameron and Burmese president Thein Sein have agreed to work together to find and restore the historic aircraft as part of a thaw in relations.

Amateur aviation enthusiasts uncovered evidence of the Spitfires' existence years ago, but have been unable to gain access to their potential locations.

British statesman Earl Mountbatten ordered the RAF to bury them in the summer of 1945 amid fears that they could be either used or destroyed by Japanese forces.

Within weeks, the atom bomb was dropped to end the conflict, and the brand new planes - which were in crates and yet to be assembled - were seemingly forgotten.

Experts from Leeds University have linked up with an academic based in Rangoon and believe they have identified the sites where the craft are concealed using sophisticated radar techniques.
Although around 21,000 Spitfires were built during the war effort, only 35 are believed to be in flying condition today.

Mr Cameron raised the fascinating find when he met Mr Sein for talks. Officials said the president was "very enthusiatic", and if the planes can be salvaged, some could potentially go on display in Burma.

A Downing Street source said: "The Spitfire is arguably the most important plane in the history of aviation, playing a crucial role in the Second World War.
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