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

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  • Dobbins
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Feb 2012
    • 448

    Originally posted by Augsburgeagle
    I find it difficult to look at the photos without knowing the aircraft is safe!
    Apparently they were taken on 29 March so anything could have happened by now...

    Comment

    • Atcham Tower
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Mar 2005
      • 780

      I think it may be a good idea to publicise this find in the UK media in the hope that officialdom and diplomats may get involved before it is too late. It is, after all, rather more tangible than a bunch of Spitfires which may or may not prove to be aluminium powder. There is also, should it prove to be ET574, the memory of a brave man involved.

      Comment

      • Augsburgeagle
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Jan 2009
        • 548

        I am surprised the daily heil hasn't jumped on this, perhaps they're too busy writing articles about channel 4 documentaries, YouTube videos and whichever company has paid them to endorse their product!

        Comment

        • Timc63
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2012
          • 76

          Got to agree with Atcham Tower, a little intervention could be a really good thing regarding this historic find.
          Got to ask the question....Has the so called Arab Spring made any difference to the state of Egypt?

          Comment

          • Dobbins
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Feb 2012
            • 448

            Yeah just imagine it, 'a Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk has been found in the Sahara...'.

            A what? A Spitfire??

            Comment

            • shepsair
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Oct 2009
              • 284

              P40

              I can assure you the people who you want to know DO KNOW.

              Been a week since reported and 4 weeks since discovery.

              There is a lot of things going on in the background that most of us are unaware of.

              Frustrating it is but all we can hope for is a good outcome.

              It looks more and more likely it is Copping's P40.

              regards

              Mark

              Comment

              • RAFRochford
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Feb 2006
                • 911

                ...Don't know why, but it just occurred to me that Christopher Lee was with 260 Squadron. Was he with the unit at the time this P-40 was lost I wonder?

                If this is the aircraft of Flt/Sgt. DCH Copping, I was somewhat taken aback at the fact that he came from Southend-on-Sea, coming from there as I do.

                Also, if it is his aircraft, it would be nice for the local rag to run a story on this by way of a memorial to the man. Personally for me, this story is becoming less about the aircraft and more about the pilot.

                Regards;
                Steve

                Comment

                • shepsair
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Oct 2009
                  • 284

                  P40

                  Steve

                  Not secret and on the web, but the parents died in Rochford.

                  Before going too deep, serial needs to be confirmed first then it will be a case of finding Coppings in your part of the world.

                  Only question is, if Copping was flying back to an RSU, would he had a kit bag, log books etc. Additionally the airframe should have had all its maintenance records. These might still be in the door pocket but not holding out much hope.

                  regards

                  Mark

                  Comment

                  • Dobbins
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Feb 2012
                    • 448

                    So who exactly has gotten their paws on the Kittyhawk? Despite the white blobs over their faces those chaps don't exactly look indigenous...

                    Comment

                    • RAFRochford
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Feb 2006
                      • 911

                      Originally posted by RAFRochford
                      Hi all;

                      This very interesting bit of info was posted over on Hyperscale;

                      "On 28/6/42 ET574 Piloted by F/Sgt DCH Copping 785025 left 260 for a ferry flight to an RSU . The A/C flew with u/c locked down due to damage . An incorrect course was set and the A/C was thought to have crashed in the Desert due to fuel exhaustion.
                      F/Sgt Copping is listed as missing on that date
                      Now I'm not saying this is the A/C , just that it MIGHT be, in view of :-
                      a) there being no apparent signs of Battle damage
                      b) the fact that the U/C was wiped off in the crash"

                      Could be a possibility?

                      Regards;
                      Steve
                      EDIT!! Please note that the above info was originally posted over on Hyperscale (I did mention that) by Terry McGrady (I unwittingly omitted that bit) Appologies to Terry for missing the credit.

                      Regards;
                      Steve

                      Mod Note. Steve I added Terrys Credit to that message .

                      Comment

                      • Mark12
                        MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 10863

                        At that date 260 Squadron would have been at Landing Grounds 76 and 115. Assuming the former, that would be located about 30 miles due south of Sidi Barrani. The likely base for the RSU is the Cairo area. If so the choice would to fly along the coast to short of Alexandria then head SE to Cairo, the safer option, or fly direct across the Qattarra Depression. That latter course would take it to within about 50 miles of the reported 'Spitfire' in my earlier post. On a flight of that duration, over pretty featureless terrain, 50 miles is well within the zone of navigational error.

                        Not conclusive but a scenario is emerging.

                        Mark
                        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                        Comment

                        • Mark_pilkington
                          Rank 9999 Registered User
                          • Jun 2004
                          • 1791

                          Originally posted by Bruce
                          Its the old, old argument.

                          If you restore it to fly, you'll throw away 50% of it

                          If you restore it to full static, you'll throw away 30% of it.

                          Its about interpretation. Properly presented, and laid out much as it is now, it would be a fantastic exhibit, and far more valuable as an artifact than it would be if restored.

                          No, recover it, but leave it alone please.



                          Bruce
                          I would agree, we have people with the skills and ability to punch out a P-40 from new material and fly safely for many years, theres no need to consume this into that process and fly around a facsimile of it, and if its to be statically displayed in a museum a strong part of its story is being found in this condition 70 years later and the apparant tragic loss of its pilot, as well as being a time capsule of a Desert war combat veteran.

                          Restoring it to prinstine condition would be destroying history to present a factory fresh colour scheme, it would be undistinguishable from every other factory fresh restored P-40 sitting in museums.

                          It would in effect be indistinguishable from this one:




                          A heavily rebuilt ex-RAAF P40N from the Pacific war, but restoration and a coat of paint allows it to adopt the history of an RAF Desert Air Force veteran in the eyes of the general public, and largely indisquishable by them to restoring a derelict one from the Sahara, ie other than us purists "knowing" one actually flew in those colours.

                          regards

                          Mark Pilkington
                          "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

                          Comment

                          • Mark_pilkington
                            Rank 9999 Registered User
                            • Jun 2004
                            • 1791

                            With dry cells/batteries and radios removed from the aircraft and remains of them sitting adjacent to the wreck I do wonder if the pilot tried to contact base by rigging them up outside?

                            regards

                            Mark Pilkington
                            "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

                            Comment

                            • danjama
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Nov 2010
                              • 432

                              Wonder if Copping had academic/practical experience in such areas? Or was a man acting in desperation

                              (if indeed it was Copping!).
                              sigpic

                              Comment

                              • H87A-2
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Sep 2009
                                • 31

                                Originally posted by paulmcmillan
                                Maybe.. A BIG BIG MAYBE

                                From KITTYHAWK PILOT

                                "The following day, 23 October 1942, the last day before the major Allied offensive, enemy fighters put forth a particularly fine effort. 260 pilots were involved in heavy dogfights and Sgt Cartwright recorded: "Pilots racing to go after recent victories. 1st show: 109's shoot up Mink in N. Crash-lands. 2nd show: 109's get going again and shoot down B and C one pilot safe. 3rd show: they shoot down Sheppard (comes back O.K.) and damaged X and O badly. We only get one damaged and Shep got a Macchi." Pilot Officer Mink, the American, was shot down in the first show by one of the German aces of Jagdgeschwader 27. Warrant Officer E. Tomlinson, one of the new Canadians with 260, was killed and Sergeant Colley was shot down in the second show. In the third show, Sergeant Sheppard was shot down and Kittys flown by P/O Thornhill and F/O Aitchison were badly shot up. It had been a good day for the Macchi pilots. No German claims were recorded for Tomlinson, Colley, Sheppard, Thornhill or Aitchison.
                                "The big push at Alamein started tonight when tanks advanced," Sgt Cartwright wrote in his diary on 23 October 1942. The final battle for El Alamein had opened."

                                Colley is F/Sgt (Pilot) John C. COLLEY - 1378464 - 260 Sqn (Nefatia, Libya), who died of wounds or injuries received in action 10-3-1943


                                Tomlinson is Canadian Warrant Officer Eric Tomlinson on El Alamein memorial

                                Colley forcelanded his aircraft on this date but got back ok...
                                Paul

                                Sorry to do this but incorrect types as 260SQDN was on Kittyhawk II's at the time of the above combat

                                from the 540 for 260SQN

                                23/10/42 12 Kittyhawk II (plus pilots names and a summery if you want it)

                                From my own research, Mink's aircraft HS-N is believed to be FL225, HS-B is FL229, HS-C is possibly FL222, Sheppard was in FL238 (HS-E or T), X is unidentified (may be FL346), and FL233 was HS-O.

                                260SQDN had converted to Kittyhawk II's in Sep 1942, first flights with Kittyhawk II's was the 1st Sep 1942, with full conversion by 3rd Spe 1942

                                Buz

                                Comment

                                • H87A-2
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Sep 2009
                                  • 31

                                  Originally posted by Mark12
                                  At that date 260 Squadron would have been at Landing Grounds 76 and 115. Assuming the former, that would be located about 30 miles due south of Sidi Barrani. The likely base for the RSU is the Cairo area. If so the choice would to fly along the coast to short of Alexandria then head SE to Cairo, the safer option, or fly direct across the Qattarra Depression. That latter course would take it to within about 50 miles of the reported 'Spitfire' in my earlier post. On a flight of that duration, over pretty featureless terrain, 50 miles is well within the zone of navigational error.

                                  Not conclusive but a scenario is emerging.

                                  Mark
                                  Hi Mark

                                  The Unit was actually at LG85 at the time this aircraft took off.

                                  Think we really need to wait for a positive ID before we start to assume which aircraft it is. I have approx 25 aircraft that are unaccounted for in this general area from both air combat and Ferry flights.

                                  Buz

                                  Comment

                                  • Batman
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Aug 2009
                                    • 227

                                    Originally posted by H87A-2
                                    Think we really need to wait for a positive ID before we start to assume which aircraft it is. I have approx 25 aircraft that are unaccounted for in this general area from both air combat and Ferry flights. Buz
                                    Buz, keep up your good P-40 work.
                                    The way this does pan out will be most interesting.

                                    JB

                                    Comment

                                    • Jayce
                                      Order of the Bent Pitot
                                      • Nov 2010
                                      • 495

                                      If it helps any, I've been messing with the contrast on some of those pictures and the aircraft is definitely marked HS-B, no trace of a visible serial though. Ironic given the pic posted by Mark Pilkington!

                                      Comment

                                      • JgerMarty
                                        Plastic Pilot
                                        • Mar 2005
                                        • 561

                                        What an amazing story!
                                        I found a link with loads more pics at Hyperscale, enjoy!
                                        Hope this aircraft is recovered properly!

                                        http://api.viglink.com/api/click?for...13353265883611

                                        Comment

                                        • D1566
                                          Needs retiring.
                                          • Apr 2006
                                          • 2119

                                          Originally posted by RAFRochford
                                          "On 28/6/42 ET574 Piloted by F/Sgt DCH Copping 785025 left 260 for a ferry flight to an RSU . The A/C flew with u/c locked down due to damage"
                                          Would it have been armed for such a flight?
                                          Martin

                                          Comment

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