David Cundall believes upwards to 140 Mark XIV Spitfires are buried in Burma.
JCB excavators were in Rangoon in January to assist with excavating Spitfires.
In the 90’s the 62-year-old Lincolnshire farmer overheard American veterans discussing building crates for unassembled RAF single-seat fighter planes. The engineers said they had buried the crates in 1945 and 1946 in three locations in Burma.
Cundall reinforced that with eyewitness accounts from British and American veterans. He believes 36 planes are buried near the Rangoon airport runway.
Staffordshire engineer Reginald Mitchell designed the Spitfire.
That’s one of the reasons why a 20 and a 22-metric-ton JS200 tracked excavator and a 3CX Eco backhoe loader made by Staffordshire-based JCB were lined up at Rangoon International Airport in January to help with the excavation.
JCB was founded by engineer Joseph Cyril Bamford in a lock-up garage in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire in October 1945. Under the leadership of his son, Chairman Sir Anthony Bamford, it has grown into the world’s third largest manufacturer of construction equipment.
“Reginald Mitchell put Staffordshire on the map in the 1930s with the design of the Spitfire so it’s very fitting that JCB, a modern day innovator and engineering company based in the county, should be providing the excavators to dig up the planes,” Bamford said.
But the planes have not been found.
According to The Guardian, 21 archeologists dug holes around the airfield but found only infrastructure—water pipes and electric cables.
The paper said another team searching in Myitkyina discovered a waterlogged crate buried in the ground.
Cundall believed the locations selected by the archeologists were wrong. But other searches in the airfield came up empty.