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Funeral for Derbyshire Spitfire pilot to be held today

Flight Lieutenant George Thompson joined the RAF in 1941 Credit: PA/RAF

The funeral of a Spitfire pilot from Derbyshire who died on the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will be held today.

Flight Lieutenant George Thompson joined the RAF in 1941 when he was 18, eventually flying a Spitfire during the second world war.

He was well known locally as the Squadron Commander of the 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps which he joined in 1968 taking command in January 1971, which he held until retirement in 1984.

Flight Lieutenant George Thompson (on the far left) as Squadron Commander of the 1211 (Swadlincote) Squadron Air Training Corps Credit: RAF

"There is no doubt that George's time with 1211 not only prevented its closure but gave the Squadron its firm foundation on which has been built the Unit as it is today."

"George leaves behind a widow, Olive, and our thoughts are with her at this time"

– Spokesman for South Derbyshire Squadron


Spitfire flypast at RAF Cosford

Spitfire will flypast RAF Cosford today and tomorrow Credit: PA Pictures

Visitors to the RAF Museum in Cosford will be treated to a spitfire flypast as part of the events to mark 75 years since the Battle of Britain.

Spitfire's won immortal fame during the summer months of 1940 by helping to defeat the German air attacks during the Battle of Britain.

The unmistakable Spitfire sound and silhouette will be filling the skies over Shropshire at 4pm today and 11.25am tomrorow as it flies over the Museum.

Visitors can also view the world's oldest Spitfire displayed next to a Hurricane in the Museum's 'War in the Air' hangar at Cosford.

They'll also be music from a 1940's Home Front Cabaret and children will be able to experience life in 1940's classroom - air raid sirens and all.

Burma hunt for Birmingham made Spitfires called off

A restored Second World War spitfire Credit: Reuters

The hunt for dozens of spitfires believed to be buried in crates in Burma has failed.

It's thought there were up to 36 planes underneath the runway at Rangoon airport which were hidden there at the end of the Second World War.

It's now thought the burying of the planes was a myth.

The search was led by Lincolnshire farmer David Cundall, who'd spent years researching the project.

  1. National

Ground-scanning equipment 'narrows Spitfire search'

An excavation team searching for buried World War II Spitfires has released the first set of pictures from its search in Burma. The team is using specialist ground-scanning equipment which they hope will narrow down the search in the next few days.

As many as 140 Spitfires are believed to have been buried Credit: Wargaming
The go-ahead for excavation came in October when Myanmar's government signed an agreement Credit: Wargaming


Lost Spitfires to be excavated in Burma

Dozens of Spitfire planes were buried by British troops in Burma during the Second World War Credit: PA

The excavation of dozens of Birmingham-built Spitfires buried in Burma at the end of the Second World War is set to begin.

It marks the climax of a 16-year search for the lost aircraft by Lincolnshire farmer and aircraft enthusiast David Cundall.

Mr Cundall, 63, has poured tens of thousands of pounds into the venture - he says he stopped counting when the cost hit £130,000 - and hopes the recovered aircraft can be restored and eventually returned to flight.

He believes Lord Louis Mountbatten ordered the burial of 36 Spitfires in 1945 at the Mingaladon airfield, a major British base in Burma, as the Second World War was drawing to a close.

  1. Calendar

Digging for victory

Lincolnshire farmer David Cundall and team Credit: Calendar

A North Lincolnshire farmer and his team are preparing to fly to Burma in search of lost Spitfires. It's believed the Mk14 Spitfires were buried at a British base at the end of the Second World War.

In facts: The Spitfire

Following the recent restoration of one of the last Spitfires, here's a few facts about the war fighting plane:

  • The Spitfire's maiden flight was on March 5th 1936.
  • It first entered RAF service in 1938.
  • It finished RAF service in 1955.
  • During its RAF service, 20,351 Spitfires were built.
  • 'Snipe' and 'Shrew' were other potential names for the Spitfire.
  • By 1939, about 10% of all Spitfires had been lost in training accidents.
  • The distinctive roof bulge in the cockpit was to allow for taller pilots.

Facts courtesy of the History Learning Site.

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