20 WW2 British Spitfires Discovered in Burma

The British Spitfire is practically perfect in every way. With the discovery of 20 additional aircraft, the number of flying examples may soon rise to 55! (Photo: Thundersprint)

While not a GIjOE article per se, this story is guaranteed to warm the hearts of all…

The Spitfire is considered by most aviation and military experts to be one of the most perfect airplanes ever built. It’s streamlined fuselage and elegant wing design are superb examples of aircraft engineering artistry at its very finest. It’s deadly nimble in the air and stunningly beautiful from any angle. The Spitfire’s unique silhouette has inspired the creation of countless TV shows, movies, documentaries, model kits, paintings and toys; each spin-off as popular as the next.

However, for over 67 years, ever since the end of WW2, the remaining number of serviceable, airworthy Spitfires has steadily dwindled, reaching today’s all-time low of just 35 planes worldwide.

There isn’t a bad view or rough angle on this elegant aircraft. As Warbirds go, it’s undeniably one of the most beautiful. (Photo: HAC / Stuart Adams – The Flying Photographic Company)

Fortunately, for fans of the beloved “Spits,” however, the number of available planes is about to almost double, due to the recent astounding discovery of 20 additional aircraft found buried 40-feet underground in Burma. The vintage fighter planes should be in perfect and NOS (New, Old-Stock) condition, having never been un-crated or flown during the war.

Apparently, the planes were buried towards the end of the war because they had become obsolete and the Allies didn’t want them to fall into the hands of the Japanese. Of course, enthusiasts of WW2 “Warbirds,” military history buffs and action figure collectors are all equally excited about this stunning discovery, especially after learning that yes, the buried planes were still INSIDE their shipping crates, tarred, lubed and sealed up tight.

We’re certain your RAF Joes are happy to hear this news. “Scramble all Pilots!”
(Photo: Mark Otnes)

We have one man to thank for all of this wonderful news—David Cundall, a 62 year-old UK farmer from Scunthorpe. Using radar imaging technology, Cundall spent 15 years searching for the Spitfires, spending over £130,000 of his own money. Now THAT’S dedication. According to Cundall in an article in the UK’s Telegraph:


David Cundell
(Photo Sean Spencer)

“I’m only a small farmer, I’m not a multi-millionaire and it has been a struggle. It took me more than 15 years but I finally found them. Spitfires are beautiful aeroplanes and should not be rotting away in a foreign land. They saved our neck in the Battle of Britain and they should be preserved. They were just buried transport crates. They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition. It’s been a financial nightmare but hopefully I’ll get my money back. My dream is to have a flying squadron at air shows.”

Bottom Line: Here at The Joe Report, we’re big fans of vintage, WW2 Warbirds. Our deepest thanks, congratulations and best wishes go out to Mr. Cundall for his amazing acheivement. Surely, as his 20 Spitfires are recovered, documentaries will be made and interest in the plane’s role in the Battle of Britain and WW2 will continue to grow. Perhaps we’ll even see the creation of additional RAF-inspired uniform sets!


6 thoughts on “20 WW2 British Spitfires Discovered in Burma

  1. The Lost Spitfire Squadron says:

    The setting is post WWII Asia, Specifically the (fictitious) tiny kingdom of Tong-Kai. Tong-Kai is being pushed around by a larger aggressive neighbor-the Republic of Somoy (also fictitious).Several of the kingdoms agents have been recruiting pilots from the region (mostly down and out ex-RAF or U.S. Army Air corps Pilots) to help build an air force. When the pilots meet at the requisite seedy bar, they are met by a former RAF Colonel. and briefed on the mission:To trek into the jungle and retrieve a squadron of Spitfires that were hidden in the jungle during the war and forgotten. They have to trek in with batteries and fuel, build the planes, prepare a field, fly them back and hump the spare parts and extra ammo back to civilization.When they get get back to the capital they then have to help fight off the invasion led by the mad dictator of Somoy.During the trek there are wild animals, vicious bandits and headhunters, maybe even a platoon of Japanese who don’t know the war has been over for five years. you could even toss in some Red Chinese or Russian spies.With a little work this could be quite a fun mini campaign for either Dicey Tales or DOGS of War.And the cool thing is it’s very plausible!

    • Robin I Simmonds East Anglia says:

      I too am delighted to read the Grand News of these possible finds, funded by modest Leicestershire Farmer. To cast such distain of those former brave aviators is a disgrace describing them as ‘Down and Out ex RAF and US Army Air corps Pilots, demonstrates your lack of comprehending the history and environment of that region at the time. That is the reasion why ‘The Allies were involved during WW 2’. That so called seedy bar was the norm. Many of those commited pilots rightly supported the citizen of that country too post WW 2. Not Dogs of war What impertenance !

  2. Eckard Johnson says:

    I am glad to hear about the spitfire find in Burma those planes I heard are -14 models are they “full house” in the crates would love to see pics of the recovery of them I’m a aviation tech and mad about spits fly them out of Burma he he he

  3. James E Childress says:

    Allrriight! A Spitfire of any mark is a real find. I hope that the guy can get them all out.-JIM

  4. Stu Bailey says:

    Well Mr Cullard at a time when this world has forgotten that freedom isn’t free never has and never will be you Mr Cullard have relighted the candle you might awaken the world with your squadrons of spits to remind most what was fought for in WWII .

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