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

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10 years 3 months

Posts: 1,665

I have just been trying to figure out the copper tag. It reminds me much of the weight tags fixed to old coal sacks - though I doubt the Bedouin have many coal deliveries! It is also marked Cad Cu (Copper Cadmium?) and a weight that looks to be 127 lbs. An odd thing to be with a flier or the P40. One assumes that it must have been something personal to the pilot (if associated at all with the P40 or the pilot) as it bears no AM stores reference. I realise this was a US built a/c, but did a UK based manufacturer supply parts to Curtis? If not, and if it is an AM piece of kit fitted to the P40, then wouldn't it have an AM stores reference? Certainly a curious mystery.

So you have something circular, of a metal that is easy to keep relatively shiny, and with a hole in the centre.

Possibly a makeshift Heliograph?

Rich

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11 years 7 months

Posts: 155

Thank you to Quattara, ARIDO and all their team for such exceptional work and I hope, as many others also do, that the human remains found can be positively identified and another lost soul laid to rest in peace. Thank you also for your best efforts in trying to protect the wreck of the aircraft and in recording the site for posterity and history. You have done and continue to do a fantastic job.

For those who have not noticed there are English language links to the articles on the Quattara.it website and for ease I have pasted them below:-

http://www.qattara.it/versione%20in%20arabo/TESTO%20_1_.pdf

http://www.qattara.it/versione%20in%20arabo/almost%2070%20years.pdf

The remaining pages are in Italian or Arabic, but thanks to 'Google translate' can also be translated into English reasonably well.

It appears from the first PDF above that ARIDO are deservedly receiving attention from an Italian TV channel tomorrow.

Steve.

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7 years 9 months

Posts: 52

we do thank you, for your appreciation for our work; we are however available to forward any further result of our next expedition, although should be our pleasure to have anyone of you, chaps, to join us by the next opportunity.
if interested do not hesitate to contact me.

Member for

9 years 3 months

Posts: 485

I have just been trying to figure out the copper tag. It reminds me much of the weight tags fixed to old coal sacks - though I doubt the Bedouin have many coal deliveries! It is also marked Cad Cu (Copper Cadmium?) and a weight that looks to be 127 lbs. An odd thing to be with a flier or the P40. One assumes that it must have been something personal to the pilot (if associated at all with the P40 or the pilot) as it bears no AM stores reference. I realise this was a US built a/c, but did a UK based manufacturer supply parts to Curtis? If not, and if it is an AM piece of kit fitted to the P40, then wouldn't it have an AM stores reference? Certainly a curious mystery.

Andy, Elliotts were a subsidiary of ICI and supplied copper and aluminium parts to the British aircraft industry. It's almost certainly from something on or with the a/c rather than a personal item.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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14 years

Posts: 2,037

qattara: I wish I could see your TV programme tonight. I can get it here in Switzerland, but I shall be out tonight, so I will miss it. Can it be made available later?

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14 years

Posts: 2,037

In fact I am just watching the first part of the TV programme. Unfortunately will have to switch off now to go out.

Andy, Elliotts were a subsidiary of ICI and supplied copper and aluminium parts to the British aircraft industry. It's almost certainly from something on or with the a/c rather than a personal item.

I would be quite surprised if it were either.

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13 years 4 months

Posts: 8,856

The heliograph sounds plausible, we used to make do and adapt stuff we found along the way to suit what we needed, found lying about at a base it could have been aquired and polished up it might have become part of his personal kit. It could also account for why it was found on his trail, it would be something he would take with him.

I believe by this stage RAF aircrew were issued with signallining heliographs. I know these items went as standard kit in dinghy packs, but I would I have thought that they may have been issued to desert aircrew anyway. I don't know enough about desert survival kit of the period to be sure. In any event, the 'K' type dinghy was in use by then I cannot imagine Copping would not have had one. Thus, he should have had a heliograph.

In any event, all of this pre-supposes that these are the remains of Copping (or even human) and that these objects were his and dropped along his 'trail'. The former point is subject to confirmation. On the matter of the objects, there is nothing apart from rather flaky circumstantial evidence linking them to the supposed remains or the P40.

Whatever, the debate about all of this has eclipsed Mark's thread remembering the pilot on the anniversary of his death (yesterday) and that is a little sad I feel.

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7 years 8 months

Posts: 30

Funny you should mention that as I have come across what looks to be another aircraft while looking for the P40. It's more near the coast towards LG09. I'll give you more info when I look at it using Bing instead of Google!

That's amazing. Interested in your final result.

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15 years 9 months

Posts: 914

Hi
Nice to think he may have been found, and full credit to the Italian guys.

but the question must be asked ............

why didn't the UK send a team out.

Jerry

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12 years 3 months

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That's amazing. Interested in your final result.

Well, I've had a look but on Bing, it has been removed. Looking back on Google, it looks to be something around the shape and size of a DH Dove. It was not far from some buildings so maybe it was owned by someone out there...

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13 years 4 months

Posts: 8,856

Maybe because we are not ermmm popular in every country, they had a team ready to go, or on the ground, experienced in the desert, experienced in the field, could be a myriad of reasons, but, knowing the UK they might of actually been cheaper..

Just goes to show how inhospitable the place is, if that Dove was lost then, one would imagine a large search would have taken place, and they still didn't find the P-40 or ignored it as being a single.

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9 years 6 months

Posts: 83

Lets hope it is him and finally he can be given the burial and respect he so richly deserved and give closure to family of what finally became of him.

Lest we forget

Steve

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20 years 1 month

Posts: 112

Things seem to be coming to a close on this, especially regarding the recovery of the pilot.. Since I don't understand Italian.. have the remains been recovered yet?

Profile picture for user l.garey

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14 years

Posts: 2,037

The Italian team apparently found a few bones (vertebrae, ribs, clavicle, small foot bones). However, we cannot know if they belong to the pilot until either more are recovered or DNA results are forthcoming.

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14 years

Posts: 894

Am I the only person on here who would like to see this aircraft recovered and returned to flight? Sadly, due to the apparent vandalism she is no longer the time capsule that we first saw. It's sad to see what people have done to her. If the options are to display her as she is now, to full restoration, I think I'd opt for full restoration.

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13 years 4 months

Posts: 8,856

Bar the removal if guns etc which needed to be done! And could be refitted at a later date, if the Army has retained them, a lot of the other damage appears to be mainly glass that could be sensitively replaced.