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 Post subject: Syrian Spitfire News?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Given that Syria is back in the news lately, has anyone got any firm information of the fabled Syrian Mk 22 Spitfires? I've heard over the years that there supposedly were not only Spitfires extant in Syria, but also possibly Macchi 205's, Me 109's, T-6's, and Fiat G55/59's.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:57 am 
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Haven’t read anything about those Mk22’s since the 1960’s. Wonder what happened to them if they were ever still extant in the first place.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:35 am 
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The Syrians were still using (a very few) German WWII tanks as late as the 1967 6-day war, and I assume that is how this rumor of possibly surviving WWII aircraft got started.

But there is an important distinction here: WWII tanks still had some credibility as military weapons in the 1960s. Spitfires ... no. Contemporary aircraft were so much more superior in every category, including range. Parts and maintenance of WWII aircraft would have also been significant, and a bigger issue than for tanks. There was not even any reason for using these in training. Spitfires in 1967 would be akin to using SPADs in 1942 (and note the number of years between 1917-42 and 1942-67 are the same).

If Spitfires and similar aircraft were still in use, we would have known about it. Perhaps some hulks are still out there, as was found in Afghanistan, but something that has been stored under cover all this time - No. The Syrians have much less reason to be nostalgic about WWII technology than we. The aircraft are as likely there as in fabled Burma.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:26 am 
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And here I was thinking the Syrian Spitfire's had been buried in Burma. Just goes to show the level of my knowledge on this subject. geek

:spit :spit :spit :spit :spit :spit :spit :drink3:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:04 pm 
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old iron wrote:
.....But there is an important distinction here: WWII tanks still had some credibility as military weapons in the 1960s. Spitfires ... no. Contemporary aircraft were so much more superior in every category, including range. Parts and maintenance of WWII aircraft would have also been significant, and a bigger issue than for tanks. There was not even any reason for using these in training. Spitfires in 1967 would be akin to using SPADs in 1942....


But I politely observe that several nations were still using piston WWII era aircraft into the 60's and 70's (and even 1980's with the P-51s in the Dominican Republic). Heck Mexico was using Stearmans even later, so I think "akin to using SPADs in 1942" is a bit extreme.

P-51's, A-26s, Corsairs, T-6's and Sea Furys were earning their keep well after the 1940's. Mostly with third tier operators on limited budgets. The A-1 was still in US Service.

The Syrian Air Force suffered various fits and starts during the 50's and 60's, with on and off again aircraft deals from both the west and the east, and faced some time essentially in exile in Egypt. Meteors were held up by the UK, Soviet jets were similarly held up as Syria looked East. It would not be too much of a stretch to imagine a few Spitfires lingering at home bases in Syria with some of the older pilots.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:03 pm 
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The Syrian Spitfires, out in the desert in 1967, were certainly there ...and I have the images.

It is just a little too early to write the buried Burma Spitfires story off,.

Extensive research has yielded some very interesting political circumstances and declared time frames in official documentation that make it very plausible.

On balance I think Spitfires were buried in Burma. Getting access to them is the difficult task.

PeterA


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:42 pm 
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PeterA wrote:

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The Syrian Spitfires, out in the desert in 1967, were certainly there ...and I have the images.


OK, show 'em!

Mention has been made of P-51 and Corsair use in military service into the 1960s. I can grant that, but I do not know of anyone using Spitfires, which had neither the range or parts availability of P-51s.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:26 pm 
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old iron wrote:
OK, show 'em!


c.1967.
Image


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:50 pm 
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Boom!

IRC Tallichet had tried to make a deal to secure these Spits around the time he was looking at Iraqi Furies. For some reason he couldn't swing it.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:16 pm 
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Peter, thanks for the picture of that Syrian Spitfire...

I'm sure the "Oracle" aka Mr McCartney will be pleased! :supz:


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:37 am 
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Bob Diemert photo isn't it?

Is that the last reliable sighting of the Spitfires?

T J

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 3:54 pm 
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Amelia Earhart is buried in the cockpit of a Spitfire, one of a squadron of such, all perfectly preserved in cosmoline and buried in the desert just outside of Aleppo.

Send me all your money and I'll dig for them.

And I'll send you one of her shoes.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:27 pm 
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Just because they've not been seen for a while doesn't necessarily mean they aren't still there. A dozen or so Meteors went to Syria and pictures of them - from up close - are few and far between. Lots of Google map references, mentions by friends of friends. Then about a year ago, this popped up on one of the Twitter feeds from some of the Syrian forces.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 4:45 pm 
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I heard all the remaining Spitfires and Meteors had been gathered together and stored at Shayrat Airbase, Syria until April 7, 2017. At that time they were reduced to smaller, more mobile, easy to store pieces for possible future reassembly. pop2

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 9:09 am 
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Peter A, thanks for posting the photo. I can only see one Spitfire in that photo, do you have any proof or reason to believe there were others? And what about Airnutz suggestion that this is Shayat airfield, do you have any reference to confirm that? Airnutz statement of 7th Apri 2017 is extremely specific, and reasonably positive if someone had the foresight to recognize the components were rare and valuable.

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