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

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8 years 4 months

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Hopefully somebody with a brain will take his Dyson to the sand on the lower longeron and give us the construction number.

Judging by the videos, no one with a brain has been anywhere near it!

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20 years 6 months

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In the bigger scheme of things whatever the serial is its still a RAF P-40 in the desert - if it can be recovered to either an Egyptian or British museum is the important part.

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Hopefully somebody with a brain will take his Dyson to the sand on the lower longeron and give us the construction number.

There probably running the extension leads the few hundred miles out to it at this moment to power the hoover.

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9 years 7 months

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Whoever it was that has vandalised and taken items has probably not gotten over Howard Carter and all the others.....

Sad though it is to see, this is not Egyptian heritage and means diddly-squat (or less) to the locals in any historic sense. It is probably just a piece of junk which may have some scrap value, and they are not exactly well disposed to the Brits, either, so it is only to be expected.

Given some of the stories I've heard about the way their own antiquities were treated by the local oiks during last year's festivities, I can't say I'm surprised either. Though our home grown grown pikeys and chavs could no doubt give them a run for their money.

What bothers me about it most is, the more damaged it is, the fewer clues or leads there are to try and determine what happened to the pilot, especially if he turns out to still be one of the missing.

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Mark(Shepsair), Has the press release mentioned in your post#703 been issued yet?

AWOT, Thank you for posting your information, do you have anymore details about the early visits to the aircraft. Were you one of the Gyafysika Torun employees that visited the site?
I don't believe the people doing the vandalisim are taking photos of themselves doing it, so we probably should not accuse the folks posting pictures on the web of being the vandals.

If WE are serious about protecting this airframe ASAP, the quickest way to get action would be to approach the war museum at Tobruk(or is it el Alamein) and offer financial assistance to recover the P-40. They would not have the red tape issues that we as foreigners are having(read RAFM). Once it is in their custody, negotiations about the aircraft's future could commence. If WE are providing the finance, then I'm sure WE could send along our own representatives to supervise/record. I cant imagine the recovery would cost too much, and Gyafysika Torun do have machines and infrastructure in the area.

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If there really is strong support in the UK forum members to see this historic RAF P-40 secured and preserved either in an Egyptian or UK museum, why doesnt someone write a story for the local UK papers and get this thing on the daily newspaper front pages and TV instead of yet un proven buried Spitfires in Burma?

regards

Mark Pilkington

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43-2195,
All good points and well said. Assuming that this is Flt Sgt Copping's a/c, and I realise that is still to be irrefutably confirmed, then the possibility that his last resting place is with the a/c or in very close proximity is very real indeed, especially considering the items strewn around e.g. the parachute still half buried in sand. If confirmed as his a/c, or another missing pilots, there ought to be a proper 'forensic' search of the site for his remains and there recovery made a priority. Whilst the aircraft itself is very poignant and it's recovery close to 'as found' would be desirable, we must not all forget that there is a very human story and personal tragedy here that needs laying to rest.

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Again - please do not 'quote' posts directly above.

Yes, I wouldn't be surprised if he was found under the raised wing. That would be the most obvious resting place.

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I spoke with my local television station newsroom today, they were as blown away by the find as we all have been. They are passing on the details to their national newsroom in Sydney. They said they didn't believe that the find could have gone unnoticed by the international news agencies and suggested that it may have gone unreported for a reason. Sounded a bit "Conspiracy Theory" to me. But the same network ran footage of a water skiing squirrell this morning, so I'm expecting some response.

I have no doubt what so ever that the pilot, if he perished after the landing and was not recovered(regardless of who he is) will be found. As posted previously, no one lives long in a desert without water, and the ability to walk purposely diminishes as dehydration sets in, so they have a starting point. Did you see the drop tank sway brace pic? That's a very small item found sitting on top of the sand some distance from the wreckage, the pilots remains should be considerably larger(boots, waterbottle,gun,etc...). There are no large dunes in any of the pics, it appears to be broken shale with rocky outcrops in the distance. A thorough aerial search will turn something up.

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Mark(Shepsair), the "eye in the sky" pic you posted of the site, is that from MOD or is it a comercial internet accessable service? It seems far to detailed for Google Earth. I'm just wondering how many more desert finds will occur as a result of the inspiration this one has caused. There must be a great deal more out there in the sand(Allied & Axis). All those "Missing" aircraft in the world had to land somewhere, non of them are still flying.

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Sutts,
I agree. The other obvious place would be under the sand that is covering what remains of the parachute and is being trodden all over but otherwise ignored. The parachute would have given shelter from sun, wind and sand and warmth at night and could also have draped over that wing to seal it from the elements.

P40 pilot

I agree. The obvious place would be under the wing and/or parachute and is something that became immediately apparent when the traces of parachute emerged.

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Anybody seen the remains of the parachute pack? Whilst serving at Abingdon with "Crash & Smash" I was asked to recover the remains of a Hurricane and it's pilot that had crashed near Spadeadam and to identify aircraft and pilot. Both were easy as the serial was found on a piece of wooden structure and the parachute pack had the owners name on it. Parachutes are a personal piece of kit.

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P40

I have been told someone from the survey team is hopefully going back to see the Kittyhawk today or tomorrow.

The priority is to find any surviving tags, and there is one or two places where they still might be hidden and can be recorded to finally confirm the identity.

There is so many things we would do if we could get there but as this is not the case so have to go with those that can get access; albeit it is not even close for them. I could spend a week there as could Andy and a few others of us if only to try and find out info on the pilot's possible whereabouts. Could ascertain so much, the 'flak' damage, undercarriage damage, identity, other parts strewn around etc etc.

The sat image was from a satellite company like google earth. Do not have the name but it is readily available on the web. Even with this facility, you would need a year of Sunday's to try and locate any other possible wrecks in the desert.

A news agency have asked for pics/story and this is being progressed but holding off until confirmation of the Kittyhawk ID and also whether the RAFM/AHB are likely to release any information.

I am sure it will be in the main press before long.

Gradually building up more of a picture from other 260Sqn pilots and families.

Even though no confirmation yet it was Copping we have been looking as part of the 260Sqn picture anyway. Now know Copping's father and grandfather were ex military, (father was in South African War 1899 -1902) his Mum was almost certainly South African and Copping had 2 sisters and two brothers all born in SA. Dennis Copping was the youngest and fifth child born in the UK. We are not therefore looking for siblings, probably second or third generation relatives so chance of anything surviving is significantly reduced.

Might need to go to and see electoral lists in Essex as have a last address for one of Copping's sister though old but at least gives us her married name. (Though only if ID is finally confirmed).

regards

Mark

... and to think this is a hobby! :eek:

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P40

Nice pic, but no.

Mark

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Good find, but the triangular panel that is hanging off ahead of the windscreen in that pic is in place when this P-40 was discovered.

I notice the original album of the find has gone or been removed.

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STRATOSAURUS, The "Desert Sentinel" still has(HAD) the Ring Gun Sight intact, your picture is missing the Ring off the top of the sight.

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Good detail you observed 43-2195. Thanks for the info.
Pagen 01 I see the album. Not deleted.
Regards from Spain.

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Album no longer working for me either.. page not found??