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

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Profile picture for user pat1968

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17 years

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Pat1968;- 'I am not sure this post even deserves a response. You clearly have never served in the military and lost a colleague and friend. I can assure you if you had you wouldn't suggest that showing concern for the family of a fallen serviceman is childish.'

Wrong on all counts. So much for 'clearly'....:rolleyes: As for the last point, obviously, I made no such assertion.

what you suggested was that recovering the aircraft was more important than recovering the remains of the pilot. I don't think i am being overly sentimental when i say that this shows no concern whatsoever for the pilot or his family. Is that clear enough? As for you having experienced the loss of comrade first hand i think you are full of it! If you had you would show a little more respect. Or maybe you think lying to his family is perfectly ok?


Whilst several people here seem to be trying to outdo each other in the righteous-indignation/moral-high-ground stakes, my basic point is that linking the Copping issue to the rescue of the a/c is simply childishly poor logic. And, yes, if the a/c's in a container somewhere secure now, great, at least it's protected.

The simple fact is that the best hope of being able to find and recover the remains of Dennis Copping lay with the evidence at the crash site. I personally made the RAFM and JCCC aware of this before the recovery took place. They chose to ignore this. Most of this evidence is now lost. This is not sentiment it is fact. For the record i am all in favour of the aircraft being recovered but not at any cost and certainly not at the expense of the family. How is that childish or poor logic?

Identifying remains is a wholly separate issue. Generally, the UK state/MOD has a pretty good record for dealing with it's fallen service personnel and the upkeep of it's cemeteries etc. If they seem to be dragging their feet, perhaps they have good reasons..... If the authorites have new information - one presumes they'll tell the family first, rather than an open internet forum...

The recovery of the aircraft is not a separate issue as i have already pointed out above. when a vehicle crashes the evidence is gathered to fill in the blanks so that what happened can be determined as accurately as possible. This has not been done in this case. The UK government record on dealing with fallen servicemen is pathetic you must have really short memory as you obviously don't remember many of the casualties from Iraq or Afghanistan, where families have to fight for their rights. They can't even take care of the living casualties properly so how on earth you think they are taking care of dead ones is beyond me completely. Once again being so poorly informed makes me think you have never served in the military despite your insistence that you have, maybe you were REMF that might explain it. I have personal experience of the MOD dealing with the death of several of my friends and the way it was dealt with was absolutely appalling. Not an isolated incident, i know many personal friends who will tell you the same thing. I think it's easy to be uninformed and presume as you obviously do. Maybe i am just being pompous and mawkish?

As for the assertions in parts of this thread that the passage of time is irrelevant - well, that's obviously unrealistic. There is an inevitable loss of urgency after seventy-one years, frankly, it's pointless pretending otherwise. It's also illogical to suggest that recognising these realities by any party - infers in anyway any disrespect for the dead - or their descendants.

I did not say nor do i think that the passage of time is irrelevant. What is relevant is that some of the Colleagues of Flt Sgt Copping are still with us and they and his family are quite rightly concerned that this matter be dealt with so that he can, if at all possible, be given a decent burial. Do you think that the issue of giving a comrade a decent burial fades after 71 years? If you do get yourself down to your nearest British legion and ask a few veterans. I am sure they will set you straight on that. I hear today that the Arctic Convoy veterans are to be given a long overdue medal. Do you think that this is any less relevant now than it was 70 years ago? For you maybe for them definitely not.

I don’t think that pompous moralizing automatically equates with showing either dignity or respect, but then again, millions watch ‘reality TV’ these days, so maybe I’m just old-hat.

Why do you think raising the profile of this case is pompous? Once again what is required is not onerous, expensive or difficult. As for showing dignity and respect for Flt Sgt Copping i guess that depends on whether you feel the aircraft is more important than he and his family are.

I sincerely hope that the remains found are Copping, so that the lad can buried with some dignity. If they are not his remains what then...?

Now that all traces of the evidence of what happened have been obliterated i suspect not much more than dumb luck will help find him. That is the whole point. The whole recovery has been handled badly and this is the result.

Member for

16 years 9 months

Posts: 1,777

It didn't seem to hinder the RAFM expedition.
When I read the lengths the USA goes to recover their missing from Vietnam, Cambodia etc I despair of our MOD.
mmitch.

I mean the lack of any official announcement regarding the recovery operation and the ultimate destination of the aircraft.

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14 years 6 months

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Anyone taking bets on the plan falling apart hence it still cooking on a box in Eygpt last we saw and silence because they ballsed it up? Just guessing but I can't see any other reason for the lack of rejoicing or aircraft to show for it. You would think if it was back in the UK they would be showing it off and jumping for joy over it..... I just hope a member of the press at the press day asks so where is the pilot and does not let go of the story.

Profile picture for user ZRX61

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And are we no longer supposed to refer to Bader as "Bader", or Galland as "Galland"?

Don't tell him Pike....

Profile picture for user dko

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8 years 5 months

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At this point I think the fate of Coping is almost forgotten.....and his remains will rest forever in the immensity of desert !!

Not forgotten, DKO.

Although I suspect that the 'fate' of his P40 is of greater importance to some.

Profile picture for user pat1968

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Definitely not forgotten, Keep the faith.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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15 years 1 month

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No, dko, we are still working on it

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9 years 6 months

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Exactly.

And are we no longer supposed to refer to Bader as "Bader", or Galland as "Galland"?

Quite. As for respect, todays idea of it is for complete strangers to ring one up and refer to one by ones Christian name as though one were a long lost friend. :rolleyes:

Profile picture for user ozjag

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Thanks Qattara for making such a record for us all to see. Thanks also Tony for posting it up.

Certainly fascinating pictures. But still no progress as regards to poor old Flt Sgt Copping.

Although it is appreciated that there are difficulties on the ground in Egypt there seems to be minimal will on the part of the authorities to carry this forward, notwithstanding assurances that things were in hand following the false and misleading information given to the relatives. And also despite the flurry of letters from MPs all offering assurances.

Profile picture for user PeterVerney

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11 years 11 months

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Let us face it the MPs are all "singing from the same hymn sheet" which is prepared for them by the civil, so called servants. They run the country and just feed the MPs and us like mushrooms, our government is the ultimate in spinelessness.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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15 years 1 month

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I just heard from the Defence Attaché in Cairo that the bones discovered by the ARIDO team were found unsuitable for DNA analysis by a local medical service, and that the case is now closed and he cannot help with any more questions. So I cannot even find out how the samples were examined, nor who brought them out of the desert and when. Qattara told us last year that they had reburied them.
Seems less than reasonable to me, and I am surprised that no DNA was found suitable for analysis. I have asked if I can get samples, but no,the case is closed!

Why am I not surprised?

If the bones are still extant it beggars belief that they will not allow a second opinion.

Profile picture for user mmitch

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18 years 1 month

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Perhaps they could send them to the lab that identified Richard III?
I suppose that means they did finally ask our Italian friends where they were buried?
mmitch.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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15 years 1 month

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No need to send them anywhere: I have been offering to do this job for months, simply that we got nowhere with the MOD or Embassy. As the "case is closed" according to the DA today, we are again stymied. We do not even know when the bones were recovered from the desert, nor by whom, and we do not know what tests were in fact done that produced the result that the samples were unsuitable.
Frustrated.

I don't think it would be unreasonable for the family to make a formal request for a second opinion.

If they are watching this, I'd just comment that the MOD are walking into an extreme PR disaster of epic proportions if they are not very careful. They have not exactly covered themselves in glory thus far. The press are certainly watching.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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Excellent thought Andy. After all, the family did give us (me) permission to do this analysis much earlier on in this sad saga.
Did they ever give the Egyptians permission to do any tests?
What happened to the bones after the Egyptian tests? I hope they are traceable.

Profile picture for user Peter

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21 years 3 months

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Is it too late For Quattara to go back to the p40 resting spot to see if there are any remains hidden in the sand?