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

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Profile picture for user l.garey

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Andy, and all:
I can confirm that the Embassy in Cairo is understandably preoccupied with the Gaza situation. I have that directly from the defence attaché.
He has also clarified the situation about the unfortunate lack of communication between the Embassy and the Italian team. We are not looking for blame here, and I can see little point in raking up the past, unless it can help us go forward. I am in contact with both parties and am hoping that they will now be able to exchange information to help conclude the business of the identity of the human remains found months ago.
My offer to participate in the final identification of the remains (if they are those of Dennis Copping) stands. If they are NOT his, then I would still hope that further detailed investigation at the site of the crash might be envisaged.

I still have no further information about the present whereabouts of the Kittyhawk. Is it still in its container at El Alamein? Does anyone here know?

Laurence

Any further news from Qattara or any other source?

Profile picture for user l.garey

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Andy: nothing from qattara. I shall contact the embassy when Gaza has been quiet for a few more days

Profile picture for user dko

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other version of those days ....

"At 13:35 hours on 27 June eight Kittyhawks of 260 Squadron had taken off to escort nine Bostons of 12 SAAF Squadron in an attack on LG-121 between Sidi-Barrani and Matruh where the Luftwaffe had just moved.
Before six Me-109's of NG-27 attacked the Kittyhawk formation, four fires had been started in the German camp. When the tally was made, 260's Commanding Officer, S/L Hanbury had claimed one Me-109 as destroyed and another probable, and Sgt Parrott had destroyed another enemy Messerschmitt. Although 260 suffered no losses, JG-27 had claimed one of the escorting Kittys. A Boston bomber had been chased but had been able to escape unharmed.
The same day F/Sgt Cundy of 260 was sent on a recce mission southwest of LG-09 with his eyes open for an unidentified armoured column. He returned to base to report the column was British. Spirits rose with the news and, once again, the fighter pilots allowed their fears to calm. Back to combat on a limited scale 18 June most bomber and fighter squadrons, including the men of 260, did not take part in offensive operations. The only action they saw was that of a few Kittyhawks who travelled to LG-100 to pick up an ambulance plane. The aircraft would be used to carry General Fryburg, wounded in action, back to LG-09.
In the meantime, Axis ground forces had been advancing rapidly. By nightfall panic poured through the base of 233 Wing. Twenty-one Panzer Division was on the escarpment in control of Fuka landing grounds only seventeen miles from LG-09. A large concentration of vehicles was already preparing for the night only miles short of that base.
"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 "

Profile picture for user pat1968

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Hi All,
I have spoken to Dennis Coppings' family again this evening who have confirmed that they have not been contacted by the MOD, either for an update or a long overdue apology, since they were informed that the remains discovered by the Italians were 'categorically not those of Dennis Copping". So despite the protestations of the MP's who have taken this to the Defense ministry, no one from the MOD has maintained contact with the family. For the absence of any doubt John Pryor-Bennett is registered as Dennis Coppings' next of kin so he should be the point of contact for the MOD's Joint Casualty and compassionate Centre, JCCC. Please anyone who has had the courtesy of a reply from their MP (I certainly have not! Shame on Chris Skidmore Con!) contact them and relay this information so that they might ask for an explanation.
Whilst it is good news that there now seems to be some forward momentum at least in terms of communication between the Defense attache and the Italians why oh why have the MOD not had the good grace to at least apologise to the family for feeding them completely erroneous information and update them on the current activity with regards to the search and identification of Dennis?

It certainly seems more than extraordinary.

I know, absolutely, that the MOD (press office?) told a UK press agency many weeks ago that the family were going to be telephoned in order that an apology could be relayed to them. We were even told specific dates that the telephone call was going to be made!

Incredible (or perhaps it isn't) to now discover that it never happened at all.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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Qattara tells me that his team (ARIDO) has been contacted by the Egyptian authorities, but not the British.

Profile picture for user Bruce

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That would seem to be the appropriate form of contact. The remains are on Egyptian soil after all. Perhaps, had ARIDO contacted the Egyptian authorities in the first place, after the remains were found, this would be a lot less convoluted.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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That would seem to be the appropriate form of contact. The remains are on Egyptian soil after all. Perhaps, had ARIDO contacted the Egyptian authorities in the first place, after the remains were found, this would be a lot less convoluted.

I believe they did Bruce. I agree that the Egyptians must be the point of contact for the remains on their soil, but the British Embassy should be involved in that we are dealing with a fallen British serviceman.

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According to the RAFM twitter feed, there'll be an announcement regarding the P40 in January

In any event, and notwithstanding the fact (as Bruce says) that the remains are on Egytptian soil and the primary responsibility of the Egyptian authorities the British Embassy have given assurances that they wish to co-operate and work with the Italian team and, of course, the Egyptian authorities.

It seems that currently the British Embassy have not been in touch with the Italians (or vice versa) but both parties know where the other is. Equally, if the Italians have been in touch with the Egyptian authorities then one would expect that, by the same token, the British Embassy should/would speak to the Egytian authorities. To use a horrible expression, there isn't much joined-up thinking going on here. Or seemingly so. Or maybe there just isn't much will to deal with this matter in some quarters?

Meanwhile, the explanatory/apologetic telephone call the MOD promised to the family many weeks ago has not materialised.

The situation remains pretty shameful, in my view. And it really isn't going to be difficult for these issues to be resolved. I despair that anyone will ever get a grip on this.

Time for a very detailed letter to my my MP etc. I feel that, Churchill-esque, it should be headed: ACTION THIS DAY.

I am tempted into an uncharitable view that, if an announcement on the P40 is expected in January (were we not told October, once?) that the whole remains issue is being kicked into the long grass until after then.

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Or maybe there just isn't much will to deal with this matter in some quarters?

I suspect you've hit the nail on the head there Andy
Profile picture for user Bruce

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I believe they did Bruce. I agree that the Egyptians must be the point of contact for the remains on their soil, but the British Embassy should be involved in that we are dealing with a fallen British serviceman.

Perhaps, yet was it not stated earlier in this thread, that the Egyptian authorities were not aware of the discovery of remains?

As ever, there's plenty here that we dont know - all parties are only telling us what they want us to know - no more....

Bruce

Profile picture for user l.garey

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Bruce: this thread (and the two temporarily deleted that preceded it) are so complicated it is very hard to know what was said or not said. But I think the ARIDO group mentioned on the thread (via qattara) and on their web site that the remains were reported to the Egyptians. Only a few days ago qattara (one of the ARIDO team) let me know that the Egyptians were in touch with them for details of the whereabouts of the bones.
BTW, are we ever likely to get either of the original threads back, or at least know why they were pulled, or is that too sensitive?
Cheers

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Posts: 22

Next Of Kin

Hi All,
I have spoken to Dennis Coppings' family again this evening who have confirmed that they have not been contacted by the MOD, either for an update or a long overdue apology, since they were informed that the remains discovered by the Italians were 'categorically not those of Dennis Copping". So despite the protestations of the MP's who have taken this to the Defense ministry, no one from the MOD has maintained contact with the family. For the absence of any doubt John Pryor-Bennett is registered as Dennis Coppings' next of kin so he should be the point of contact for the MOD's Joint Casualty and compassionate Centre, JCCC. Please anyone who has had the courtesy of a reply from their MP (I certainly have not! Shame on Chris Skidmore Con!) contact them and relay this information so that they might ask for an explanation.
Whilst it is good news that there now seems to be some forward momentum at least in terms of communication between the Defense attache and the Italians why oh why have the MOD not had the good grace to at least apologise to the family for feeding them completely erroneous information and update them on the current activity with regards to the search and identification of Dennis?

Do the MoD regard John as the NOK? Or is there another close family member they could be in contact with?

NOK usually determined in the order: spouse, issue, parents, siblings....

Yes, he is the closest living relative. Thus; next of kin.

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12 years 10 months

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hi,
good luck on contacting your MP Andy,i,ve still to hear from mine wrote 12/11/12 not even the automated recieved e-mail...lodged this at the back of my mind for election day...
regards
jack...

Profile picture for user beachcomber

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MP reply

I received a reply from mine today not really any further forward seem to be going in circles.

Dear James
Thank you for your further letter of 25 October enclosing correspondence from your constituent ********************** about the aircraft and human remains discovered in Egypt earlier this year.

I understand that since my predecessor's letter to you of August, doubt has been raised about the validity of the remains. My officials in the Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre (JCCC) are working closely with the Defence Attache in Cairo to address this issue. I can assure you that it will be dealt with as quickly and efficiently as possible.

While their investigations are currently being undertaken, the JCCC will remain in contact with the family of Flight Sergeant Copping to keep them informed of any further developments. I am sure you will appreciate that it would be inappropriate for me to comment any further whilst these investigations are still ongoing.

I hope my reply explains the position

yours ever

The Rt Hon Mark Francois MP

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NOK

Yes, he is the closest living relative. Thus; next of kin.

Thanks.

Best person to contact his MP / the media would be John himself, as MoD's treatment of him & claims to be keeping him informed are clearly not true. If others do it on his behalf the MoD will just continue to deny it as previous post shows

"the JCCC will remain in contact with the family of Flight Sergeant Copping to keep them informed of any further developments"
M

Profile picture for user l.garey

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Beachcomber: Why would it be "inappropriate"? The family want to get to the bottom of all this. It's going back and forth like a shuttlecock, which is helping no-one.