Brit pensioner claims squadron of Spitfires buried in Birmingham

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 10:13 hrs

A whole squadron of Second World War Spitfire fighter planes could be buried under houses in Birmingham, a pensioner has claimed, after admitting that he had helped hiding them.

Matt Queenan, 83, said that there could be well-preserved Spitfires lying in crates dug deep into the ground, potentially underneath houses.

He claimed that he is one of a team of workmen who buried them in 1950, greasing them up and encasing them in boxes under instructions from the War Office.

According to the Telegraph, he has now spoken of the secret mission for the first time in public, after 36 of the iconic planes were found in Burma.

The aircraft, discovered by aviation enthusiast David Cundall, are expected to soon be repatriated 67 years after being 'lost'.

One of the Spitfires is due to go on display in Birmingham shortly.

"You don't need to go all the way to Burma to find Spitfires. There are plenty buried here in Birmingham," Queenan, a former bareknuckle boxer, said.

He claimed that the operation was carried out in a hangar in Castle Bromwich, near to where the aircraft were built during the Second World War, the report said.

After being told to bury them by War Office official Harry Bramwell, the labourers 'covered them in greased' before they were 'boxed up', he alleged.

A spokesman for the RAF museum conceded the claims could not be ruled out, while the Ministry of Defence said it was 'highly improbable'.

"It is possible, but we just do not know," she said, adding: "Many of them would have been disposed of in the local area through scrapyards. The RAF didn't keep records once they had been handed over to someone else to take care of".

Earlier this year, 62-year-old David Cundall found 36 Spitfires in Burma, after spending 15 years and more than 10,000 pounds searching.

"They were just buried there in transport crates," Cundall said, adding: "They were waxed, wrapped in greased paper and their joints tarred. They will be in near perfect condition."

The aircraft will be returned to Britain after Prime Minister David Cameron intervened in favour of their repatriation, the report added. (ANI)

More from Sify: