How eight forgotten Spitfires were recovered from Indian military airfields

In 1977/8 a team of Haydon-Baillie Aircraft & Naval Collection volunteers retrieved eight ex-Indian Air Force Spitfires from five widely-separated locations in India. The aircraft had been abandoned on military airfields, where they had served as decoys for many years. In an interview featured in the December 1979 issue of Aeroplane Monthly, Wensley Haydon-Baillie, co-founder of the collection, explained to the Editor some of the problems of retrieving these forgotten aircraft.

In our July 1974 issue we published a feature on the embryonic Haydon-Baillie Aircraft & Naval Collection started by Ormond and Wensley Haydon-Baillie. It was in 1973 that Ormond arrived in this country with the Collection’s first aircraft, the Hawker Sea Fury FB11 WH589. Two Lockheed T-33 Silver Stars followed, and by July 1977 the collection had expanded to 25 aircraft of nine different types.


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