who owned raaf spitfires at the end of ww2

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Nig, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Nig

    Nig New Member

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    What was the tenure arrangements on spitfires brought into australia towards the end of ww2?

    Was it a lend lease arrangement or were they purchased outright by the Australian government?

    This goes toward the leagle question of how you might get tenure of one if you knew its whereabouts.

    If they were under lend/lease it could be considered that they are stolen goods of the country who provided them.

    On the other hand their value due to oversupply at the time may have made it uneconomical to return due to the cost of shipping them vast distances to a place where there is an oversupply of the same item.

    Same might be said of if they were owned by the australian government.
     
  2. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Somebody posted the correspondence betwen Ausrtralia and the UK regarding the disposal,actually scrapping,of a bunch of Spitfires,Merlins and spares recently. The correspondence arose because the Australian government considered the aircraft to be owned by the UK government and was seeking permission for their disposal.
    In that case at least it seems the Australian government did not purchase the aircraft though permission to dispose of them was granted.
    Cheers
    Steve
     
  3. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily. They may have been sold, with the provision that if they were to be disposed of, first right of refusal had to be given to the RAF.

    There is still a similar thing around now with military aircraft.
     
  4. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    All Spitfire Vs were declared surplus to requirements and were to be scrapped dated July 1946.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Five engines were sold to Rolls-Royce in Sydney for £10 each...

    [​IMG]

    The Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production agreed to allow the Spitfires to be scrapped. Spitfires which were to be set aside for the RNZAF were no longer needed:

    [​IMG]

    Destruction of remaining Spitfire Vs authorised:

    [​IMG]

    Comments on the disposal of Spitfires and the use of Mustangs and Spitfire VIIIs:

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Nig

    Nig New Member

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    It seems then that either way, if these machines are found then they could be classified as abandoned goods. then it will come down to whose land that it sits on for tenure.
     
  6. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but I think the original question was more to do with why did the RAAF need to seek permission from the RAF.

    As far as I know, the RNZAF spitfires were purchased. Some of them were purchased through the sale of war bonds, and you can often see that they carried the name of a town or province here in New Zealand.
     
  7. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    If you read the first letter carefully it shows that the RAAF was not asking permission from the RAF to dispose of the Spitfires, which, as mentioned were "free issue from the United Kingdom" : instead the RAAF was advising the Commonwealth Disposals Commission of the intention to dispose of the Spitfires and was asking for the commission's advice as to what action could be taken (ie; how were the surplus Spitfires to be classified), and noting the commission had issued a certificate of disposal allowing the RAAF to scrap the Spitfires and engines.

    The third letter shows that the UK's Air Ministry and Ministry of Aircraft Production were advised of the disposal of the Spitfires, via the High Commission in Canberra, and both ministries that the Spitfire Vs were also surplus to the RAF's requirements.
     
  8. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    It would be very cool to find them, if they were just buried somewhere as the means of disposal.
     
  9. Aozora

    Aozora Well-Known Member

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    They could be buried in Burma... :-\"
     
  10. gumbyk

    gumbyk Well-Known Member

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    That would be a good way of 'disposing' of aircraft. Nobody would ever think to look there!!
     
  11. Glider

    Glider Well-Known Member

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    In theory I believe that the agreement for the setting up of the RAAF was that Australia would supply and pay for the training of the men but that GB would supply the aircraft.
     
  12. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    I'm hearing echoes of that old tale of 'Spitfires buried in crates in abandoned mines in Australia ....'
     
  13. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    I dont have very much of value to add to this discussion. But I recall mygrandfather saying that at the end of the war the government was selling spitfire engines in working condition at scrap prices. The DAP had been producing Merlin engines since 1942, but these engines could well have come from scrapped Spitfires as well.

    We were interested in Merlins as engines for high output irrigation pumps. We never dis get one....fuel consumption far too high, and spare parts not guranteed I recall was the reason.

    Ive seen photos of many RAAF war surplus a/c being dismantled for scrap at Oakey Qld, and other locations, so I very much doubt these Spitfires were stored or presereved in one piece.
     
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