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

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not sure if this has been posted before, apologies if it has. This photo has been posted on Facebook and is said to be Dennis Copping. A face to a sad story.

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Bruce -the RAFM works under this remit
'The Royal Air Force Museum (RAF Museum) is an executive Non-Departmental Public Body of the Ministry of Defence, and was established in 1963 and registered as a charity in 1965'

Therefore any deal that is carried out will invariably come under public scrutiny and rightly so.

Indeed, David.

I was merely pointing out that nobody is any the wiser about what has happened after so many months (wasn't it in 2012?) beyond the recovery of the P40 for and on behalf of the RAFM by Tim Manna. I think the recovery of the P40 itself long pre-dated the revolution in Egypt, although I do appreciate that the current situation there cannot be helping.

However, the most important issue surely remains the unresolved matter of Flt Sgt Copping.

Oddly, there seems to considerable 'sensitivity' over mention of either the pilot or his aircraft in some quarters.

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I don't think the business arrangement between the RAF Museum and Tim Manna has anything whatsoever to do with us!

Unless (and until) the regions stabilises a great deal more than is currently the case, I doubt there is any opportunity for the story to continue.

Bruce

Well said Bruce:applause:

I may be a newbie on this forum, but I've noticed for a long time that the RAF Museum is the ONLY museum that gets a regular slagging off by forum members, can someone please explain why??

Just for clarification and the avoidance of any doubt, Rat Acc, my comments are most certainly not 'slagging off' the RAFM. I think asking questions is a long way removed from that. Additionally, the RAFM are not in any way shape or form involved in the central issue, here; the whereabouts of Flt Sgt Copping.

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Rat Acc -I guess you have missed any mention of the recent controversial disposals from the IWM Duxford then? The RAFM gets no more of a 'slagging off' than any other museum. Maybe it carries out more deals than other museums? - the likes of the deal that saw a genuine Hanriot HD.1 and Farmam travel to New Zealand in exchange for two replicas and a partial reproduction were always going to raise eyebrows.

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Err, whilst we may be entitled to know about business details once that business is satisfactorily concluded, we aren't entitled to know about it whilst under discussion, or whilst it is being transacted. No business, whoever owns them or administrates them, would expect their operational decisions to be questioned whilst they are being made. You would never get anything done!

Right now, I don't see a certain P40 at Cosford, or Hendon, or at any MoD/RAFM site, so it is fair to conclude that the business remains unfinished.

As I have said before, this sort of discussion; second guessing what an organisation like the RAFM is doing or has done can be potentially very damaging, both to the organisation to itself, and to the chances of any deal being done.

Bruce

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Well said Bruce.

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Ok, lets play a game of "what if"
What if Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 turned up at the conservation centre at Cosford in time for the open week,(announced or unannounced-take your pick) ?
Would attending forum members that are so vocal on this site be as vocal towards the staff in the MBCC working on the aircraft ?

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I think the public has every right to question deals that are done by national bodies. This isn't a deal being done by a large multinational -this is a government body entering into a transaction. It is no different to the Mod buying combat aircraft or any other equipment. Its open to public scrutiny and so it should be.
As to the P-40 -there is an assumption being made that the deal involved the recovery of the P-40 to the U.K . It might well be that the deal was to recover expediently the aircraft itself to a place of safety only. Effectively the aircraft would have remained in the ownership of the country concerned -recovering it doesn't make it yours!

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Rat Acc -Vocal about what exactly ? The recovery of the aircraft to many is a side issue. What is important is the potential search and recovery of the remains
of the unfortunate Flt Sgt Copping. Those that think the aircraft is more important than a potential proper resting place for the mortal remains of the pilot need to question their humanity .

Ok, lets play a game of "what if"
What if Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 turned up at the conservation centre at Cosford in time for the open week,(announced or unannounced-take your pick) ?
Would attending forum members that are so vocal on this site be as vocal towards the staff in the MBCC working on the aircraft ?

Why should they be? I am not sure that anyone has been 'vocal' towards the efforts of RAFM to secure this aeroplane and I am sure that most of us hope it ends up there. The staff at MBCC do a fantastic job and I'd doubt there are many, if any, detractors here.

The issue is mainly about how the matter of Flt Sgt Copping has been handled. And that is outside RAFM's control or remit.

Bruce's comments regarding the aeroplane itself are noted. Very clearly both issues, pilot and aeroplane, remain sensitive. However, in the run-up to 11th November I know that the family of Flt Sgt Copping would like to know about the aeroplane itself and the truth behind the quest for Dennis Copping's remains. On the latter there has been massive obfuscation. As to the aeroplane, I think we need to bear in mind that on the internet one can find how that Tim Manna has given presentations the other side of the pond about how he recovered the P40 for RAFM, but not in the UK. Also, those presentations ran parallel to discussion about the aircraft itself being closed down on this forum for very many months.

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It has been stated on here many times that unfortunately the human remains found in the local area to the crash site could not be positively identified by dna as those of Flt Sgt Copping. But this does not seem to be believed by members of this forum.
Even the local area of Sahara Desert is a big area to search, and no doubt there are many remains of many men from all sides who fought and sadly died in World War 2, and other conflicts. Not only the Sahara, but all over Europe, indeed everwhere on this planet that war has touched. As and when these brave souls are discovered, be it on the battlefields of the Somme or the jungles of Borneo, their remains will be and are treated with the respect deserved of the fallen.
The MOD has gone through a period of massive change recently, historic regiments and squadrons disbanded, perfectly serviceable aircraft and ships taken out of service, brought on in part by financial difficulty and government mismanagement, and can hardly afford to man its current commitments.
So, despite what we feel is right and proper for Flt Sgt Copping and all those with no know grave, for the time being, and coupled with the political situation across the Middle East, any further recovery mission sadly cannot be considered.

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Rat Acc: Let us just recall the sequence of events about the human remains. The Arido team found some human bones (they were indeed human: I have the photographs and can vouch for that) about 8 km from the crash site. After that my contacts in Arido claim that the bones were left in situ and never recovered. In my many attempts to have access to these bones, via the British Embassy in Cairo, the MoD in England or via Arido resulted in very little. I had offered my services to identify the bones with DNA techniques, and the family of Denis Copping had agreed to this. However, the Arido link dried up, on the grounds that this affair had already had too much public airing, and all my attempts to find out locally (in Cairo via my professional contacts there) were fruitless. Then there was a report from the Cairo Defence Attaché that a second set of bones had been discovered and tested in Cairo, with the result that they were found to be unsuitable (although no-one could tell me who had come to this conclusion). No-one has been able to say where this second set came from, if it ever existed. Again, no information was forthcoming from either Arido or Cairo (embassy or local pathologists). My only aim is to try to recover some human material to be able to say if it belongs to Denis Copping or not. However, this seems to not be attractive to certain of the stakeholders in this affair. It is basically a simple problem, but seems to have acquired a number of political and personal overlays that I cannot understand.
Now the Egyptian political situation would seem to preclude any in situ investigation.

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I think the public has every right to question deals that are done by national bodies ......... Its open to public scrutiny and so it should be.

Fully agree with this

Moggy

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Incorrect.

That is not a verboten topic, just one not suitable for the main "Duxford Diary 20XX" thread.

Moggy

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At least when they plundered King Tuts Grave site, they had the decency to take King Tut as well...

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I come late to this topic. Is it worth bringing the matter of the missing remains of Sgt. Copping to the attention of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission ? They have international influence.

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How strange. I put a picture of Dennis Copping on this forum and there is no mention about it. Just the usual rubbish about who should be doing what. V. Sad.

David Kavangh - a pity that nobody commented on the photograph, but thank you for posting it. The whole issue centres around Flt Sgt Copping and so to be reminded of him in this way is important.

John Green - the CWGC sadly have no influence or remit in such matters. Their Royal Charter is specific and is for the burial and commemoration of Commonwealth war dead, not in the recovery of their remains.