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

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The important thing to remember is that we simply do not know if these are the remains of Dennis Copping or not....and we need to find out, especially after untruthful/misleading information has been given to the family.

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I spent a couple of hours this morning at the Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park....I am still in wonderment at the sheer detail and immence feeling of awe, that this memorial gives out to all the people there today, paying homage to those memories of so many fallen airmen.
I had read this blog before leaving home, and added Fl.Sgt Copping's memory to those proud figures standing, looking out for the aircraft and crews that never came back.

I know that eventually, through all this anger at what has happened so far, Fl.Sgt Copping will be returned and given the full honour he deserves.
We, on here, will make it so.

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My goodness.....I would have wished that this was not true. I too will write to my MP tonight.
I agree, this basic test should be done, it is the LEAST that could be done. I too hope that he is recovered and afforded the hero's burial he richly deserves.
It is odd how easy it was to focus on the aircraft and the 'richness'/tantalising thought of it as a time capsule. Mentally, some had it being restored and flying...others pictured it in an 'as found' setting. All seems pretty silly now.....the bigger picture was a man surviving combat, surviving a crash landing and then attempting to walk out the desert and back into combat:- sadly to fail. We REALLY do owe him more, we need to find him, we must find him and show how heroism and human sacrifice for others means more than just an exhibit in a museum. In an age when joe public worships soap 'stars', reality 'stars' and overpaid footballers, we really need to treat this real hero better.

Indeed, Tony.

For the last month (or more in fact) three of us on this forum have been working away at this behind the scenes - visiting the family, gathering information, talking to the press, to the Italians...and trying to engage Capt Collins and the MOD. We quickly realised things were being misrepresented and had not been properly actioned, hence the arrival at this point now.

I don't think its any secret (after the Daily Mail piece) that there are initial plans to mount an expedition out there to have the remains recovered and scientifically checked. This is working with the family and in accord with their wishes, and hopefully working with the Italians as well.

If funding can be secured and the paperwork put in place, we're off!

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That is good to hear Andy. This is a story that gets under my skin.....I am trying to keep my stress levels low.....but this is important.

Just another little thing that, to me, is a big niggle.

The family asked for a copy of his Record of Service and were told one could be supplied within twelve weeks upon payment of £30.00, please.

The family paid up, but I am not sure if they yet have it.

Now, given the high profile nature of this case you really would have thought, wouldn't you, that the RoS would have been procured swiftly and without any thought of charging for it, wouldn't you?

So, poor old Dennis loses his life in 1942 and is still missing. The British authorities in Egypt haven't bothered to visit or test the reported remains (but have misrepresented the facts to the family) but the MOD are quite comfortable to take thirty wretched pounds off the family so they can read his service record.

Its becoming increasingly difficult to be proud to be British.

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While wishing you all the best, and i realise the families wishes are a major concern, but going out to recover him is wrong, the MOD should be doing this.
By others doing what should be their duty you are setting precedents for them to shirk their responsibilities in the future, such a high profile story that has run in several of the UK newspapers should be turned into a PR disaster for the MOD and the RAF that once and for all forces them in a humiliating acceptance that it is their duty to ensure they recover and properly inter those that have died in the service of their Country..
As an Ex Serviceman I and others would expect that as the minimum for those that have made the ultimate sacrifice, I for one cannot understand the efforts being made on the WW1 battlefields to identify and bury those recovered whilst seemingly avoiding those lost elsewhere

They are shirking this duty and that needs to be stopped..

Incidentally you may be unaware of this... Another case

http://www.pprune.org/military-aircrew/386099-bringing-home-crew-kl654.html

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Tony T - to an extent I agree all that you say, but as Rick65 pointed out through his link, and through your own link, precedents are already set with KL654.

In this case, there would certainly be a potential problem with some 'formal' MOD involvement in Egypt (ie having British forces on the ground in Egypt), although I see no reason why this could not be undertaken by the Defence Attache and his staff working with experts.

As I understand it, anyway, there would be legal restrictions about just going to the desert, scooping up the remains and taking them back to the authorities someplace. One would hope, however, that such obstacles could be overcome, within the law of the country. At the very least, one might hope that it would be initially possible to recover a sufficient sample for age (and then DNA) testing. This would allow for a considered response by the respective authorities as to how the remains might then best be dealt with, or not as the case may be.

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Emailed my MP and linked this thread as well.
mmitch.

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Sent this to my MP:-

Dear George Young,

As Remembrance Day approaches, as well as my own family who fought, I am drawn to remember Flt Sgt Copping. He was the pilot of the P40 aircraft found (like a time capsule) in the Egyptian Desert earlier this year.

It is odd how easy it was to focus on the aircraft and the 'richness'/tantalising thought of it as a time capsule. Mentally, some had it being restored and flying...others pictured it in an 'as found' setting. All seems pretty silly now.....the bigger picture was a brave man surviving combat, surviving a crash landing and then attempting to walk out the desert and back into combat:- sadly to fail.
We REALLY do owe him more, we need to find him, we must find him and show how heroism and human sacrifice for others means more than just an exhibit in a museum. In an age when joe public worships soap 'stars', reality 'stars' and overpaid footballers, we really need to treat this real hero better.
Apparently some human bones were found and the MoD have allegedly discounted them as being from the pilot without even seeing or testing them. This basic test should be done, it is the LEAST that could be done. In this time of Remembrance and with our brave forces still dying for this country, I implore you to please ask The PM to find this hero and afford him the hero's burial he richly deserves. It could be done as part of an exercise.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Dyer

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Think that sums it up perfectly Tony - is it OK to use the same text please.

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Whilst I applaud the sentiment, I'm not convinced that requesting a military exercise to be held in Egypt is the most practical or productive suggestion to make.

To be honest, Tony, I don't think a UK military exercise in Egypt is likely!

If it does end up being done officially then I would suggest it is likely to be through diplomatic/attache routes, perhaps working with Egyptian authorities and maybe the regional CWGC representative. The other route, but again done through official channels/approval, would be via a private expedition but involving specialists/professionals in this sphere.

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Good point - I will leave out the last sentence - is it OK to use otherwise Tony?

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Hmm, there is a small country between Great Britain, Belgium and Germany which name has escaped me at the moment that could be included in your plea as well. Hundreds of cases like this.:rolleyes:

Cees

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Of course it is Nick.

Regarding exercise, this is the term often using for service ski trips to more military type tasks.

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I have emailed my MP and linked this thread.
However I have very little hope that this will produce any results.
My MP is Dr Poulter, who prefers to be known as "Dr Dan", and is right up our Dave's a*sehole. Our Dave, being a PR man, or puff artist, is all mouth and trousers, but extremely short on action.

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Letter to MP

Hi Guys
I too have emailed my MP (James Gray) yesterday 25th August with this:

Hello James
I July I wrote to you concerning the discovery of ET574 P40 Kitty hawk in the Egyptian desert and you kindly sent my request to have the remains repatriated. The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP wrote to me detailing HM governments stance on these matters. I mentioned in my communication that some bones had been discovered some 5 kilometres distance from the aircraft these were to be tested to see if they were the remains of Dennis Copping. It now turns out that not only were they not DNA tested they have not even been excavated. Although a statement has now surfaced that the remains are 400 years old and not connected to the pilot. From what I understand age of bone cannot be determined using DNA. This is a 'hot potato' for the Government certainly as Remembrance Sunday is so close.

So my questions are:
Have the bones been excavated
Have the bones been tested against a relative of Sgt Dennis Copping to determine whether these are in fact the remains of Dennis Copping.
The information as to the age had come from the defence attaché in Cairo namely Capt Collins how is this possible if the remains have not been tested. As far as I know no contact has been made to the relatives of Sgt Copping.

Due to the discussions I have seen on-line concerning this, there are a lot of heated comments, I feel that a statement as to the true state of affairs would be in order.

Reference:
http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/showthread.php?t=120188

regards
Mike Brewser

This morning in the post came this:

Dear Mike
Thank you for your email 25th October regarding Sgt Copping's remains.

I am forwarding a copy of your email, and our previous correspondence on this subject to the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Defence to ask for his comments.

I will, of course let you know how he responds.

James Gray