The story about being buried for protection against the "advancing Japanese army" sounds bogus to me. In 1945 there was only one direction the Japanese army was going, unless they mean 'advancing to the rear'!
Makes much more sense that the aircraft were war surplus disposed of at the end of the war but even so digging trenches to bury that much cubic footage would have been much more work than burning or dumping at sea-and why only Spits? Many more types were in service in the Far East by 1945.
I would have thought the British Government would have flogged them off to the first willing buyer rather than junk them.
There was oh so much equipment of every type left over at the end of the war-it's estimated that for the US there was more stuff in the supply chain from factories to depots to the frontline than had actually been used during the war and Britain wasn't too far behind-the cost of shipping stuff back to the homeland was more than it was worth and every country was busy demobilising or updating to jets etc.
Well I know the US ended WW2 wealthy but the UK was almost broke, rationing continued for how many years after 1945? Spits were still used operationally well into the 50s. 1956 if I recall correctly they were still in use in Malaya.
It just astounds me that such valuable equipment would have been sympathetically buried. I hope it is otherwise but I think these treasure hunters are chasing ghosts.
Thats not the version Ive heard either.
As I understood it, the Spits arrived too late for the war effort and were disposed thus, as it was deemed too costly/complicated to ship the planes back.
Wasnt there a book written about the matter?
"In a hole in the ground there lived a Spit...."
Nah, thats not right.....!
Even though, the Spits back then were not as revered as today (nor as valuable as the few surviving examples) and even though there were mountains of equipment surplus to requirement, its still strange, that someone didnt think to make a few squid on the planes.
Even back then with all the equipment/planes left over from the conflict, a few new-in-the-box planes must have been able to bring in substantial funds.
Again, there was absolutely no shortage of any equipment that any country would need-there's also the matter of shipping which was in short supply because troops/POWs/refugees from all over the world had to be repatriated and peacetime trade resumed.
Maybe it was not a foregone conclusion to the guys on the ground that the war with the Japanese would have been over within 4 months? They would not have known of the existence of the A bomb?