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

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Member for

18 years

Posts: 2,123

As they know, I have offered to pursue this research, so maybe I could be on the receiving end. I would be only too pleased to try to take this forward.

It is puzzling, if not incomprehensible, why the case of Flt Sgt Copping's possible remains has developed a number of what Laurence called 'personal and political overlays'.

Time, surely, to start anew in 2014 and to cast all that aside and for Daniele (ARIDO) to openly and transparently provide the information to the British authorities (again if he has already done so) and, additionally, to Laurence Garey who is in a position to take matters forward on a professional level. There is now no earthly justification for withholding this information , and it is surely disrespectful to Flt Sgt Copping and his family to continue this macabre dance. I cannot believe that Daniele, or the British authorities, would wish to be party to that.

Why this is all so difficult is beyond comprehension. Quite likely the remains are not those of Flt Sgt Copping, but at least the family need to know. That they should continue to be subjected to such a shameful catalogue of events is wrong on every level and morally indefensible.

Let us hope that Daniele at Arido will supply the information (even if he has already done so) and the British authorities will act on it transparently when they are able to do so. Alternatively (or perhaps additionally) that the relevant information be supplied to Laurence Garey. What is there to hide? And why?

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 8,464

Yes Andy, I do.

My understanding is that MoD SPVA have made a number of attempts to contact Arido for assistance with this issue, but without any joy.

I have, as you have seen, made a number of pleas to Daniele on this forum, but all have been ignored.

One has to ask why?

Bruce

Bruce

I agree as to the question; why?

In terms of knowing for sure that it is a fact that the authorities have not been supplied with the information from Arido, I understand and hear all that you say. I, too, have been informed direct from the authorities that they have made such requests but they have not been forthcoming with the information. On the other hand, Arido were equally adamant that they had. All that can be said for sure is that somebody is not telling the truth or there are some very serious crossed wire issues. Certainly, one would like to take at face value what is being said by the authorities but I think you need to take into consideration the terrible screw-up of misinformation that has already occurred and which I set out in #1922. As a bigger background, if you like, take the case of Flt Sgt Williams when the MOD released a press statement which resulted in national newspaper articles to say that he and his aircraft had been recovered. Nothing could have been further from the truth! I realise that JCCC do a difficult job under difficult circumstances, but experience has shown that we don't exactly always get information accurately or correctly.

Member for

19 years 6 months

Posts: 108

Perhaps the question to Arido should be 'which authorities?'. Is it possible that the information has been supplied to Italian or Egyptian police or similar and not the UK MoD?

A very valid question, Scrooge. However, I am pretty sure I recall that Arido say they telephoned to the (then) British Defence Attache in Cairo, Captain Collins, to pass on the co-ordinates.

Somebody may be able to confirm that, but I think that information is here somewhere, buried far back in this thread.

Member for

19 years 6 months

Posts: 108

Yes, I vaguely recall that too, now that you mention it.

However, if Arido did not talk directly to Captain Collins, or did not provide sufficent detail or Captain Collins (or a message taker) did not write down or, for whatever reason, record and pass on the message, or the message got mislaid or misfiled, then the MoD will have no record, and therefore will have 'not received' the information.

We all know this sort of misinformation and poor message handling goes on all the time.

Anyway, carry on the search and maybe one day a satisfactory investigation will be reported.

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 8,464

Why should Capt Collins be the scapegoat here? We first need an answer from Arido...

Yes, unfair to make anyone a scapegoat without any evidence and just an assumption or suggestion, or to add two and two and get five.

If the information was passed on the family ought to know why it wasn't acted on and why the authorities are saying it hasn't been passed on. If it wasn't passed on we need to know from Arido why not.

However, if we are looking for answers in this case, there are also a good many the British authorities need to answer. Why did they say the bones had been tested and were over 400 years old, only to later admit that no bones had been found and tested? Later, to state that a second set had been found but that DNA could not be extracted - a scenario doubted by those in a position to doubt. I think the authorities need to supply some answers. Not just Arido.

Member for

11 years 9 months

Posts: 231

Take it to the press and shine a big bright spotlight on it. Let your MPs know the press are running with it. It's all very well to sit back and let the public service perform it's duties in the fullness of time. But in this case the public service are saying the matter is closed. And, to any intelligent and informed person, it obviously is still very much an open case with leads not followed.
I have a new G4m crashsite here in PNG, we notified the Japanese embassy, who told us to notify the PNG National Museum, which we then did and nothing has happened in 2 years. We are now notifying the G4m reunion associations in Japan in the hope that they will bring political pressure to the case. The site is littered with bones, and the landowners are not impressed with the lack of respect and action they have witnessed.
The US JPAC operate on similar time scales, but they do act, they liase with the public and they stress that the sites not be visited or disturbed. So action does take place.............in the fullness of (public service)time.

43-2195

It has been taken to the press and a good many MPs have been written to. Unfortunately, we are still in the same place.

Member for

19 years 8 months

Posts: 1,777

This relates more to the P-40 than Flt Sgt Copping, but on the thread on the GW hangar closure, it is noted by jeepman that the P-40 gets a mention in the RAF Museum annual accounts for 2012/13, on P11 (p14 of the PDF)

Also in 2012 the Museum undertook a joint project with Kennet Aviation to recover RAF Kittyhawk ET574 from the Egyptian desert in exchange for one the Spitfires from the Museum’s collection. The aircraft has been successfully retrieved and is presently in secure storage.

http://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/10228-Royal-Air-force-Museum-2012-13-for-web.pdf

Not 'new' news but the first time I recall seeing this being acknowledged by the RAFM. Apologies if mentioned before, but i couldn't see it.

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 3,208

So has the Spitfire (a Mark 22 I believe) been traded to Kennet themselves or is it destined for the Egyptians?

Member for

19 years 8 months

Posts: 1,777

Presumably PK664? I didn't realise it wasn't in the Science Museum anymore. Or do the RAFM have another mk 22?

"The aircraft has been successfully retrieved and is presently in secure storage."

But presumably not yet successfully retrieved from secure storage?

Just to add that RAFM confirmed in August that Spitfire PK664 was no longer in their custody and had left the RAFM Reserve Collection during February 2013.

(In part answer, I hope, to DaveF68)

Member for

19 years 8 months

Posts: 1,777

Thanks Andy - someone needs to tell the Science Museum as it's still on their website!! :-)

Member for

24 years 1 month

Posts: 3,208

Cart before horse?

I suppose to be fair to Hendon, we don't actually know if the P-40 has been brought back to UK and RAFM just haven't said!