Air Enthusiast 1998-11
S.Aloni, P.Arnold - From Israel to Burma (1)
Spitfire 2042 was overhauled to zero hours by Bedek as part of the ten ‘Orez B’ aircraft. It was originally one of two Israeli Spitfires used for photographic reconnaissance.
A line-up of 101 Squadron Spitfires at Ramat-David. The condition of the IDF/AF Spitfires was not good, as illustrated. The second aircraft, 2024, was exported to Burma as UB421 while the first aircraft is most likely call sign ‘33’ and not Spitfire 2033, which was also exported to Burma.
No. 105 Squadron OTU instructors, their five UBAF trainees and the squadron’s ground crew at Ramat-David in the winter of 1954/55. CO Captain Moshe Tadmor is standing in the centre, Captain Ran Sharon is standing first on the right.
The Bedek hangar at Lod IAP was still under construction when the Burmese Spitfires were either prepared for delivery or overhauled to zero hours.
Air-to-ground of 2058, exported to Burma as UB439. Note the outline of the Auster or Cub that took the shot!
The five UBAF pilots that attended the IDF/AF 105 Squadron OTU in the winter of 1954/55 at Ramat-David with the Israeli instructors.
Spitfire UB443 serves as a background to an Israeli family photo in Burma. This aircraft was an ex-Czechoslovak Air Force aircraft which was flown to Israel in December 1948 as IDF/AF 2010.
IDF/AF 22 Wing test pilot Captain Aryeh Leslie Ostrofwas killed on August 22, 1955, when Spitfire UB435 crashed during a test flight.
No.105 Squadron Spitfires 43, 35, 55 and 12 in flight. Note the different type of serial number on 2035. Of these four fighters only the leader’s, 2043, was exported to Burma.
IDF/AF Spitfire 2048 was cannibalised for spare parts by Bedek for the overhaul of the ten ‘Orez B’ aircraft.
On November 28, 1950 Dan Barak - who had graduated from 1 Flying Course in August 1950 forgot to extract the undercarriage of Spitfire 2008 ‘15’ when landing at Ramat-David but very little damage was caused to his aircraft. The interesting fact in this photograph is the small numerals ‘576’ on the fin. Spitfire 576 was included in the list of ex-Czechoslovak Spitfires sold to Israel - despatched on the third crated shipment but not in the list of Spitfires included in Operation ‘Velveta’ 2 in which 2008 certainly participated. Another mystery waiting to be solved. Four years later the Israelis suspected that the same happened to the Fieldair ferry pilot Phil Gurdon at Shaibah when this aircraft was ferried to Burma as the original UB422. Spitfire 2008 might have been exported to Burma since it was not traced in IDF/AF Spitfire pilots’ logbooks after May 1954.