British team seeking lost Spitfires in Burma makes its first discovery


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The Independent Online

An excavation team searching for buried Spitfires in Burma has found a wooden crate believed to contain one of the aircraft. The team lowered a camera into the crate in the Kachin state capital, Myitkyina, but muddy water has stopped them identifying the contents. It was not clear how much damage the water may have caused and searchers could not definitively say what was inside the crate. But David Cundall, the British aviation enthusiast who is leading the hunt for the rare aircraft, called the results "very encouraging".

He said: "We've gone into a box, but we have hit this water problem. It's murky water and we can't really see very far. It will take some time to pump the water out, but I do expect all aircraft to be in very good condition."

One of the team in Burma was Stanley Coombe, a former soldier who says he saw the Spitfires buried at the end of the Second World War. "I never thought I would be allowed to come back and see where Spitfires have been buried," said the 91-year-old. "It's been a long time since anybody believed what I said until David came along."