AN operation to excavate dozens of British Spitfires buried in Burma during the Second World War is to begin next year.

It marks the climax of a 16-year search, costing more than £130,000, for the lost aircraft by Lincolnshire farmer and aircraft enthusiast David Cundall.

Mr Cundall, 63, 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.

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And now, following the suspension of European Union sanctions on Burma which David Cameron called for in April, a dig to find the lost planes is finally due to begin in January.