Found: WW2 Spitfires

As a kid, I and my friends who were interested in World War 2 were enthralled and excited when the movie The Battle of Britain came out. I recall going to public library in order to read up on the time period when Britain stood virtually alone against the Nazis. The out numbered but never out flown RAF defeated Herman Goering’s claims that Britain could be defeated by the Luftwaffe alone.

The real stars of the movie were not the actors although there were some of the greatest British around in the film. The real stars were the airplanes and it was that fact that excited me and my friends.

The movie was made in the 60’s, a time when computer generated graphics wasn’t even in anyone’s imagination.

So how do you make a movie that features WW2 airplanes if the originals are hard to find?

At the time there enough Spitfires and Hurricanes still around to cover the British side. The German aircraft on the other hand were hard to find except for the fact that the Spanish Air Force still had a number of Ju-88’s, He-111’s and Me-109’s that they were willing to lend to the movie makers. And so they did and the producers made a movie featuring re-enacted dogfights with real aircraft, just as they looked in 1940.

A Hispano Aviación HA-1112 (c/n 156 C.4K-87 (D...

A Hispano Aviación HA-1112 (c/n 156 C.4K-87 (D-FMBB), “FM+BB”), a license-built Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-2. Rebuilt by the EADS/Messerschmitt Foundation, Germany with a Daimler-Benz DB 605 engine as a G-6. The paint scheme is missing the Swastika, due to current German laws. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The excitement of seeing real British and German airplanes reenact the Battle over Britain in August 1940 simply was marvelous experience for me and my friends and I think the movie stands as a classic with its excellent British cast that stars real airplanes from the period.

I was therefore happy to see that twenty WW2 Spitfires have been found in Burma (35 WW2 era Spitfires are still flying worldwide). Apparently, they had been crated and shipped to Burma, but never used because the war ended. The famous airplanes had been stored and preserved against the elements until rediscovered by a wealthy British air enthusiast.

Sadly, there is controversy as to who will end up with the planes but hopefully they will be restored and drive the total to 55 of still flying Spitfires.

Supermarine Spitfire XVI at Duxford, September...

Supermarine Spitfire XVI at Duxford, September 2006 Français : Un avion Supermarine Spitfire Mk XVI. Photo prise en Septembre 2006 à Duxford, dans le Royaume-Uni. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

4 comments on “Found: WW2 Spitfires

  1. I too was raised on the sincere milk of the War…….Lovin’ me some Warbirds. Hope to see you at AirVenture 2012…..Get them while you can……Nicely done Bruce…..

    • Thanks for the encouragement JP. Went to Wright-Patterson a number of years ago to the air museum. Wow!
      I was a lousy model builder as a kid but loved the Warbirds. Is AirVenture the thing in Oshkosh?

      • Yes Bruce….the old name for Oshkosh was the Fly-In. There is so much air history there that you’ll be smiling for days. If you go, go as a Member so you get to walk the Flight-line. No other way to see the action and walk among the Birds. Due to the world we live in, this thing may not survive many more years…if you can, try to attend…I think you’ll love it.
        This year there will be reenactments of Doolittles Raid with plenty of Mitchells and Mustangs….Seriously, the heat from the explosives comes at you like a wave in the viewing area…pretty exciting stuff….:)

      • Thanks JP. Be a shame if it ever came to end because of pc.

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