Spitfires buried in Birmingham now?

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by bobbysocks, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    told you these things are like rabbits. supposedly there is a squadron of them buried in Birmingham....

    Is there a squadron of Spitfires buried in Birmingham? - Telegraph

    Matt Queenan, 83, believes there could be well-preserved Spitfires lying in crates dug deep into the ground, potentially underneath houses.

    He claims he is one of a team of workmen who buried them in 1950, greasing them up and encasing them in boxes under instructions from the War Office.

    He has now spoken of the secret mission for the first time in public, after 36 of the iconic planes were found in Burma. The aircraft, discovered by aviation enthusiast David Cundall, are expected to soon be repatriated 67 years after being "lost".

    One of the Spitfires is due to go on display in Birmingham shortly.

    Mr Queenan, a former bareknuckle boxer, said: "You don't need to go all the way to Burma to find Spitfires. There are plenty buried here in Birmingham."

    He claims the operation was carried out in a hangar in Castle Bromwich, near to where the aircraft were built during the Second World War.

    After being told to bury them by War Office official Harry Bramwell, the labourers "covered them in greased" before they were "boxed up", he alleges.

    A spokesman for the RAF museum conceded the claims could not be ruled out, while the Ministry of Defence said it was "highly improbable".

    Mr Queenan said: "It was December. We got picked up by Harry Bramwell from outside the Labour Exchange in the city centre.

    "We covered the planes in grease and they were boxed up. We were told they were going to be buried.

    "I think they were buried nearby, close to the Chester Road, but I don't know where.

    "There could be houses over them or anything now because it was all fields in them days."

    A spokeswoman for the RAF Museum, in London, said Mr Queenan's claims could not be ruled out.

    "It is possible, but we just do not know," she said. "Many of them would have been disposed of in the local area through scrapyards. The RAF didn't keep records once they had been handed over to someone else to take care of.

    "It's unlikely, but it could have happened."

    A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said: "It is highly improbable Spitfires were buried in Birmingham in the 1950s. We have no evidence of it."

    Earlier this year, 62-year-old David Cundall found 36 Spitfires in Burma, after spending 15 years and more than £10,000 searching.

    “They were just buried there in transport crates,” Mr Cundall said. “They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition.”

    The aircraft will be returned to Britain after Prime Minister David Cameron intervened in favour of their repatriation.
     
  2. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    Oh, if they are there, then they're sort of local to me - I live in Brum, haven't seen the local papers yet though, perhaps something will 'emerge' in the proceeding time ahead.
     
  3. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    hell get your shovel out and dig one up!! would look pretty spiffy in your driveway wouldnt it??
     
  4. razor1uk

    razor1uk Well-Known Member

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    #4 razor1uk, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  5. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    This is what happens when a buried Spitfires story gets publicity. They pop up everywhere. I live in Birmingham too and it's common knowledge that these aircraft were built here. Only a matter of time before someone put 1 and 1 together to make 3.
    The fields he refers to are probably now the Castle Vale housing estate.........good luck razor1uk,you'll need some back up,or guns!
    Steve
     
  6. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    These must be the Spitfires buried alongside those twelve Stirlings .........
     
  7. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Ummmm...they'll be telling us we are not headed for a triple dip recession next....
     
  8. Rogi

    Rogi Active Member

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    So there telling him off like they told the other guy that was searching in Burma? I thought Mr.Cundall spent closer to 100,000 in searching for the spits, 10k would be a steal lol

    Hell if my house has a couple spitfires underneath her, I'd dig a new basement and then sell them off one by one lol :D keeping 1 for myself and our local Aviation museum :D

    Plus I'd have an added benefit of a new basement! haha!
     
  9. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Although there is a slim possibility that this might be true, I doubt it happened. There were many surplus aircraft at the end of WW2, some brand new, many of which were rolled out of factories, towed to another part of the field and scrapped. Others were in storage as 'War Reserve Stock', with types such as the Spitfire still being used by the Auxiliary Air Force (later Royal Auxiliary Air Force), although by this time, jet aircraft were in service, with piston types becoming obsolete for front line service.
    It's one thing to bury Spitfires in far off Burma, where the complications, and cost, of the logistics to return them to the UK outweighed the sense of disposing locally, but quite another thing altogether, to bury perfectly good components, in the form of complete aircraft, which can be salvaged for parts or materials, and at the same time get some return on the investment.
    Many aircraft of all types were scrapped by Service organisations, and many by civilian contractors or sold to civilian scrap yards (some to lie for many years as almost complete airframes) and, although the sale price was but a fraction of the true cost of each airframe, at least some revenue was generated by this process.
    Although it's possible that these aircraft were buried, it seems highly unlikely, and certainly doesn't make sense if they were.
     
  10. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    I missed the announcement of the 36 Spitfires found in Burma (or at least my flu riddled brain doesn't remember it). Outstanding news!
     
  11. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    I've had a quick look in my back garden and despite being in Birmingham I have come up empty handed.
    Oh well,I'll have to buy a lottery ticket after all.....there's more chance of winning that than finding a Spitfire :)
    Steve
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Well Steve, you could purchase forty eight Spitfire kits, in 1/48th scale, and then you'd have the equivalent of a full-sized Spitfire - not quite the same thing though, is it?!!
    Meanwhile, I'm off to find that Heinkel He177 hidden in a garden shed near here .....
     
  13. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    There is a similar chance of me finding a basket case BSA 65 or a Dave Degens Dresda to buy, rebuild and cherish...hey ho.
    Now...where's my spade? :lol:
    Cheers
    John
     
  14. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    Don't tell em your name Pike....

    I had a cunning plan to buy a RR Merlin bit by bit on ebay and emerge triumphant from my workshop with 24 cylinders roaring and a noise to die for.

    Cheers
    John
     
  15. herman1rg

    herman1rg Well-Known Member

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    I agree with terry
     
  16. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    of course you arent going to see them...they are painted camo!! you guys are lucky..you have spitfires all we had here in the states were ww2 surplus $200 jeeps and $50 suicide shift harleys in still in the crates. that rumor run for years back in the late 60s and 70s. it was always some guy knew some guy who could get them but you had to buy a lot of 50. funny thing is i never saw any of these things on the street....
     
  17. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    $50 suicide shift harleys !!! Buy, buy and buy more. You would make a fortune bobby.
    Then he woke up...
    Oh well
    Cheers
    John
     
  18. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I like how in this article the Spitfies in Burma seem to be a sure thing, one is even due to be put on display shortly.
     
  19. bobbysocks

    bobbysocks Well-Known Member

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    dont laugh...after being very young and naive the first go around..when it circulated the second time i told the guy i would take 20 of those harleys myself....the remainder of the 50 needed for the sale. i actually did have the money but also knew it would never happen....would have been nice tho...
     
  20. Readie

    Readie Well-Known Member

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    We've all been caught bobby.
    My maxim is 'if it sounds too good to be true it probably is'
    Any Harley is worth a lot here, I have had 3 and while they sound great they are not best suited for UK roads and weather.
    Cheers
    John
     
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