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

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P40

Shay,

No it isn't but your assessment is correct.

Mark

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Don't know if anyone has seen Doug Norrie's comments on 12 O'Clock High?

Dave

In photo 10 of the picasaweb series of pictures it clearly shows the ref. H-87A-3 stamped in the wing and a part no. starting with 87....which would in indicate it was one of 540 Kittyhawks produced with the a/c serials in my previous thread. According to 'Curtiss Fighter Aircraft 1917-1948' by Francis Dean and Dan Hagedorn, page 294, the 540 aircraft were bought by the British government in Contract A-1835 commencing with AK591, before Lend Lease took effect.

The pipe type exhausts indicate an early model Kittyhawk, Mk I or IA.

Looking through my Air Britain serials book (through the 540 a/c), assuming it is a 260 Sqd a/c, I could see only two possibles that could be considered:
AL134 lost on 7.9.1942
AK693 lost on 16.5.1942

If someone could check the 260 Sqd RAF ORB there may be some clues from the above dates.

I look forward to seeing if anyone can add any further info to what I have put forward.

Doug

Dave, my analysis is on TOCH but the issue is what source do you believe? as I have AL134 and AK693 as H87-A2 not H87-A3

and don't forget the Corsairs in Lake Sebago......

In the case of Lake Sebago, the MOD took deliberate action to assist in legally preventing the possible recovery of the aircraft and their pilots - although its a little more complex than that.

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Dave, my analysis is on TOCH but the issue is what source do you believe? as I have AL134 and AK693 as H87-A2 not H87-A3

Hi Paul

Just to add to this AL134 (HS-W) was flown by Flgoff R.A Dunbar when the aircraft was badly damaged by Bf109's and was force landed 6/9/42, lots of nice photos of the damage to this aircraft, and clearly shows it to be finished with C type roundals as well.

AK693 (code unknown) was shot down by Bf109's 16 May 42 while being flown by WOFF J.S.E.Bernier (would also have had expected to see the codes of MF showing on the aircraft under the HS)

Buz

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update...

Gents,

Myself and another researcher here in Canada can nearly confirm that this is F/Sgt. Dennis C. Copping's (RAFVR) aircraft with the the airframe serial no. unknown as of yet. It did crash with in a "wheels down" landing as the gear was locked down. We can't disclose the events on that day or any other information until RAF/MOD or the RAFM release information from there investigation with respects to the pilot's demise and accident that resulted in this No. 260 Kittyhawk being where it is.

Perhaps someone with access to No. 260's ORB can review the entries for June 1942 and help ID the serial number of the airframe.

Just wanted to clear the air a bit.

L.W.
CAHS - Toronto

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Is this not working the reverse way... ? Before making any assumption, I would rather wait for our Polish friend to return to the wreck and take note or picture of the serial number of the plane. That is the only real evidence to rely on.

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My grandfather was stationed in Egypt during the war - he was a bandsman and played the clarinet. I know, its not very glamorous compared to those who fighting, but that was his job, and he entertained many a person doing it, and he paid many a respect playing at the funerals of the dead.

He often used to tell me about a place out in the desert - A big dumping ground, where you could find anything "from a transistor radio to a tank". I wasn't interested in transistor radios or tanks, but I was interested in aircraft!! When I asked him about it, he said he could remember aircraft being there (but his memory is very poor these days), but he also said he remember seeing aircraft engines in crates! Much of the stuff was brand new, it just wasn't needed when the war ended, nor was it coming home.

I know its not directly related to this fantastic P40 story, but it is very interesting to wonder what is still out there waiting to be discovered!

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Happymeal - indeed it is easier to wait for concrete proof.

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My grandfather was stationed in Egypt during the war - he was a bandsman and played the clarinet. I know, its not very glamorous compared to those who fighting, but that was his job, and he entertained many a person doing it, and he paid many a respect playing at the funerals of the dead.

He often used to tell me about a place out in the desert - A big dumping ground, where you could find anything "from a transistor radio to a tank". I wasn't interested in transistor radios or tanks, but I was interested in aircraft!! When I asked him about it, he said he could remember aircraft being there (but his memory is very poor these days), but he also said he remember seeing aircraft engines in crates! Much of the stuff was brand new, it just wasn't needed when the war ended, nor was it coming home.

I know its not directly related to this fantastic P40 story, but it is very interesting to wonder what is still out there waiting to be discovered!

I'm sure Cameron would oblige...

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I would hardly call the Sierra Nevada mountains "a desert".

Quite...
Mr. Homewood doesn't seem to note the difference between an open desert and a wooded, rocky mountainous area.
Yes, there are plenty of undiscovered aircraft wrecks in North America, (near me a L-39 disappeared in the winter and it wasn't found until the spring) but not intact airframes in open country as we seem to have here.

As I commented earlier, I can't believe there are many unburied planes left in the desert. Local aviators (military and civil) would have seen them by now...hopefully reporting them...not to mention the possibility of them being destroyed during various wars or picked apart by locals for scrap.

Are there really vast parts of the Sahara that no one has flown over for 60 years?
I don't think so.
If nothig else, the local military would/should have seen them by now.

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P40

Walshee,

Kittyhawk ia, 'ET574' has been mooted now as a possible identity for over a week now but the RAFM/AHB are looking into the loses for ALL Curtiss P40 Kittyhawk Ia's around the summer of 1942 though AHB are concentrating on 260Sqn as a start point.

Buz has confirmed that 260Sqn records are sparse to say the least!

There are two lines of discussion here.

The evidence in relation to the P40, when she was built, the model, when she probably arrived in theatre, whether damaged, whether the wheels were down, whether she had the range from coast strip to where found. We know at some stage it was with 260Sqn and coded HS-B

Then there is the information we know on F/Sgt Copping. We know he was with 260Sqn, when he took off on his final flight, who he was flying with, that his undercarriage could not be retracted and that he is still classed as missing.

The only thing about the two statements is that both were connected to 260Sqn. Until the serial is confirmed there is no point going further.

If no serial is found which seems probable, we need the Curtiss construction number. This will give us 99% certainty. 100% certainty will be provided by confirmation of the Allison engine number which is listed on Coppings loss record.

As we have no serial, construction number or Allison number, no one yet knows which it is or isn't!

regards

Mark

In 1991 detailed research was completed on the loss of a Fw190D-9 on 17th April 1945 in Schwerin Lake in the former East Germany. The research and eye witnesses narrowed it down to a very small section of the lake. The area was surveyed, cameras, divers etc and the Fw190D was found and recovered. Shortly after recovery it was discover it was ANOTHER Fw190D-9 lost a few days before. Shows never to assume but also there are other Fw190's and other aircraft in these former East German lakes.

Until we see a pic of the main plate or a tag and of the Allison engine this is still an unknown RAF Kittyhawk Ia. There is currently no proof.

Would you put your life or house on it being ET574?

At this rate, there will be nothing left on which to find any serial numbers.

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P40

We'll still be able ID STAMPED on the lower longeron. If that goes missing there will be no point at all.

Amazing what some people class as scrap and some as historic. I do feel like going and chipping some stone off the pyramid. Just feel like having a bit of stone, just like tprobably like the idea if having a piece of 70 year old metal.

Getting more and more depressed.

:mad::confused::dev2::(

Mark

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update...-2

We have first hand eye witness account on what happened here but waiting for the RAFM or the MOD to release something. Can't say anymore but our source saw the VWoC story and the photos and enough said!

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Next it will end up on e bay buyer to collect.:D

Sorry but this should be recovered by now whats the hold up?

The race will be on to grab it you'll see, finders keepers.:eek:

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P40

Hi Walshee,

What are you expecting the RAFM/AHB to release? They have no ID.

They are talking to the Egyptian Government about securing/obtaining the Kittyhawk and they have confirmed I am allowed to release that much.

First hand eye witness account for what? - the loss or the discovery?

The only other pilot who flew off with Copping died a few years ago. Also Stocky Edwards or any other pilot or ground crew member might know the story and everything to do with Copping's going missing but this first hand account still does not tie this P40 to Copping unless you have the serial?

If you do, the RAFM would like to hear from you.

Sorry if I am missing something?

Piston Power - this is Egypt, it has just had a revolution, 20 people died today in Cairo. Things don't move fast in this part of the world at the best of times.

regards

Mark

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The video, I assume from the person who posted it, was taken at the same time as the others. The aircraft is therefore no more damaged than it was; we just know about it.

Sadly, it's an irrelevance to most of the Egyptian people; we can only hope it can be recovered in as intact a way as possible.

Bruce