Sat, 14 Apr 2012 07:36:49 GMT

World War II Spitfires'' buried in Myanmar to be unearthed

London, Apr 14 (PTI) Twenty World War II Royal Airforce Spitfires'' buried in airfields in Myanmar are to be retrieved following a deal reached between the visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron and the country''s authorities.

The aircraft were shipped to Myanmar (then Burma)in the summer of 1945, two weeks before atomic bombs were dropped on Japan which brought the war to a sudden end.

The Spitfires never saw action as Earl Mountbatten ordered them to be hidden to prevent them falling into the hands of the advancing Japanese forces.

The tiny fighters, which came straight from production lines were buried in crates at a depth of 4ft to 6ft to preserve them and their whereabouts became lost after the RAF struck off their locations from records, the Daily Mail reported.

But aviation enthusiasts, aided by experts from the University of Leeds and a Second World War veteran who witnessed their burial, believe they have now discovered their locations using ground penetrating radar technology.

So now under the pact between Cameron and Myanmar President Thein Sein, Britain wants to unearth the aircraft and restore them to their former glory.

The British want to hunt the Spitfires in a joint heritage project.

The condition of the cargo boxes and aircraft, whose wings and body are buried separately, is unknown. But experts are hopeful that they are well preserved.

Spitfires helped to support the Chindit special forces on the ground and proved a huge boost to morale. They played a crucial role in defeating the enemy and covering the subsequent Allied advance through Myanmar, protecting the ground troops and providing vital supplies.

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