Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 From The Egyptian Desert

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P40

Hi

I agree with Buz as well. Until we know a c/n and serial it is all conjecture.

This is where Copping would have been heading for I believe.

From RAF Flying Training and Support Units - Sturtivant/Hamlin?Halley by Air Britain Publications.

No 3 (Middle East) Aircraft Repair Unit was formed 15.5.42 , ex Kittyhawk Repair Section at ISMAILIA, Egypt which is right up by the canal.

regards

Mark

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Thanks for the info :)

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Contempory report on Coppings Loss from Kittyhawk Pilot by James 'Stocky' Edwards and Michel Lavigne
First Published in 1983

28th June 1942

"The order was given to evacuate immediately," Eddie wrote. "All serviceable aircraft were flown off by the light of a few drums set on fire. They landed under similar conditions at LG-106." The Kittyhawks landed at their new base about thirty miles east of LG-09 in the dark. It was about nine o'clock and the day had been long for most, but not long enough for F/Sgt Copping. He didn't make it over the ground convoys who fumbled their way to LG-106 in
the dark, pushing their trucks through the heavy sand.
Fear gripped the fighter pilots when they heard their orders on 29June. "Retreat again," was the command that came down. The-German spearhead had advanced confidently all day as the Desert Air Force moved further east. By nightfall, the Afrika Korps had reached an area twenty-five miles south of El Daba, providing the Luftwaffe with operational landing grounds close to the scene of the next battle. 260 Squadron of the RAF and the South African fighter squadrons were ordered back from LG-105 and LG-106 to LG-85 at Amriya during the day. ..

Just one note. The book later mentions that Edwards flew ET574 on "13 July 1942" however this could be a typo in book or his logbook (ET575 also on sqn) or the fact he listed his flights by Sqn code letter rather than Serial

Note: No mention of Copping flight to fix aircraft - maybe as this book was written 40 years later they just assumed he was paert of the retreat
Paul

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re: 23/10/42 12 Kittyhawk II

Buz

Thanks for eliminating that!

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Having had another look through the pictures, it is now my feeling that the pilot detonated the IFF in the rear fuselage, and this is what has caused the damage around the radio bay. There doesnt seem to be any other combat damage on the aircraft.

That explosion might have caused the damage to the batteries and to the radio.

The odd thing though is that the IFF timer is set to 'Off', though of course who knows what has happened to it in the intervening years!

Bruce

Bruce

Could it be that, for some reason, the IFF desrtruction charge self detonated due to a fault and this, ultimately, caused the loss of the aircraft?

I have come across at least two recoded instances of this before.

All conjecture, of course....but how fascinating!

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Finally

I have got a copy of a few of the 260 SQN ORBS from the time as Buz says the detail is minimal to say the least and no serial to sqn code match ups. probably due the fludity of Sqn movement at the time

Also ET574 should be USAAF 41-35928 and Curtiss C/N 19761 (Corrected)

I say should as while Curtiss C/N are supposed to be consecutive there are a few times when they are not what you think they are. Most notably the TFC P-47G (built by Curtiss) for instance is in the right general area (within a few numbers) for its predicted C/N but not exactly.. - It is possible that on production line airfames had to be moved back due to damage etc

Paul

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Finally

Also ET574 should be USAAF 41-25250 and Curtiss C/N 19761

I say should as while Curtiss C/N are supposed to be consecutive there are a few times when they are not what you think they are. Most notably the TFC P-47G (built by Curtiss) for instance is in the right general area (within a few numbers) for its predicted C/N but not exactly.. - It is possible that on production line airfames had to be moved back due to damage etc

Paul

Hi Paul

I have the Curtiss records and yes they (construction numbers and serials) dont always run in Sequence, in some cases Construction numbers have also been used twice (just to mess things up for resrachers later in life).

Best check your serial as its not correct> This aircraft was from the second batch of 1080 aircraft so should be 41-35xxx or 41-36xxx.

Buz

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Nothing I can add to the proceedings, but have to say that this has been one of the most fascinating threads in recent memory, from the "is it or isn't it" photos, to the revelations of the aircraft and pilot's eventual fates.

It's why I still come back here.

:)

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Hi Paul

Best check your serial as its not correct> This aircraft was from the second batch of 1080 aircraft so should be 41-35xxx or 41-36xxx.

Buz

Yep thanks missed the cntract switch over.. Corrected original post

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59 Repair and Salvage Unit was operating in this area and had been based at Amriya. For an aircraft capable of being ferried, repairs should have been well within its scope, leaving major repairs to the operations at Cairo and Ismailia.

The 'Stocky' Edwards report suggests a picture of rapid and hasty retreat eastwards, behind the the Alamein line, in poor light or darkness, F/Sgt Copping paying the ultimate price.

"You know what to do with the lame ducks, chief".

Mark

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EDIT!! Please note that the above info was originally posted over on Hyperscale (I did mention that) by Terry McGrady (I unwittingly omitted that bit) Appologies to Terry for missing the credit.

Regards;
Steve

No problems Steve All is forgiven :)

Terry McGrady

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Assuming it was Copping, they obviously found his body so he must have successfully made contact and succumbed before they reached him or a search party got there too late.

Whatever the story, this gets more fascinating...

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Not necessarily, as the Alamein Memorial commemorates those with no known grave.

Indeed. It seems no trace was found of Copping and he is still missing.

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No problems Steve All is forgiven :)

Terry McGrady

Hi Terry;

Thanks for the understanding! I think I got over excited and all forum decorum went out of the window!

Great to have you onboard the discussion!

Regards;
Steve

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Ahhhhhhhh. ok.

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What would be the normal CWGC procedure for dating the death of somebody missing, missing-presumed-dead and subsequently declared dead?

F/Sgt DCH Copping is listed as dying on 28 June 1942 on cwgc so not 'missing'

Wouldn’t the ‘last known’ date be used as the date of death?
Profile picture for user paulmcmillan

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Last known "alive date" is usually used (unless any evidence is available to suggest a later date). In this case if an aircraft was lost on 28 June 1942, the pilot Date of Death would be recorded as 28th June 1942

System does have his problems and not 100% accurate IIRC some RAF deaths on the Lancastria in 1940 have dates of death on or after the ship was lost