Archaeologists find no buried World War II surplus Spitfires in Burma

Jan 18, 2013
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Archaeologists find no buried World War II surplus Spitfires in Burma

Last April archaeologists left for a very interesting dig in Burma. The archaeologists were out to find a number of British Spitfire fighter aircraft that were allegedly buried as surplus after World War II. The story went that in 1945 a number of aircraft were shipped from the manufacturer to Burma in their standard shipping crates.

The aircraft were said to have been waxed, wrapped grease paper, and tarred to protect them against the elements. When the aircraft arrived at their final destination, the war had ended leaving the aircraft unneeded. As the story goes, British commanders ordered soldiers to bury the aircraft in their shipping crates because it was cheaper than shipping them back to England.

Archaeologists have been digging at the site of Rangoon airport in Burma where eyewitnesses have said that the aircraft were buried at the end of World War II. The archaeologists believe that as many as 124 spitfires were buried and an initial survey of the Rangoon site revealed large concentrations of metal under the ground supporting the idea that as many as 36 of the Spitfire aircraft were buried there.

However, the archaeologists are now stating that the evidence gathered so far does not support the original claim that Spitfire aircraft were buried at Rangoon. Interestingly, a buried crate was discovered in the Kachin state capital Myitkyina earlier this month that could be associated with the allegedly buried Spitfire aircraft, but muddy water prevented immediate identification of the crate's contents. That city was rumored to be another site where surplus aircraft were buried after World War II.

[via BBC]


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