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

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

    Originally posted by D1566
    Would it have been armed for such a flight?
    Hi D1566

    All aircraft flying in to, from or around the forward operating area would have been armed.

    Buz

    Comment

    • shepsair
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Oct 2009
      • 284

      P40

      Hi

      I agree with Buz as well. Until we know a c/n and serial it is all conjecture.

      This is where Copping would have been heading for I believe.

      From RAF Flying Training and Support Units - Sturtivant/Hamlin?Halley by Air Britain Publications.

      No 3 (Middle East) Aircraft Repair Unit was formed 15.5.42 , ex Kittyhawk Repair Section at ISMAILIA, Egypt which is right up by the canal.

      regards

      Mark

      Comment

      • D1566
        Needs retiring.
        • Apr 2006
        • 2120

        Thanks for the info
        Martin

        Comment

        • paulmcmillan
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Jan 2000
          • 2650

          Contempory report on Coppings Loss from Kittyhawk Pilot by James 'Stocky' Edwards and Michel Lavigne
          First Published in 1983

          28th June 1942

          "The order was given to evacuate immediately," Eddie wrote. "All serviceable aircraft were flown off by the light of a few drums set on fire. They landed under similar conditions at LG-106." The Kittyhawks landed at their new base about thirty miles east of LG-09 in the dark. It was about nine o'clock and the day had been long for most, but not long enough for F/Sgt Copping. He didn't make it over the ground convoys who fumbled their way to LG-106 in
          the dark, pushing their trucks through the heavy sand.
          Fear gripped the fighter pilots when they heard their orders on 29June. "Retreat again," was the command that came down. The-German spearhead had advanced confidently all day as the Desert Air Force moved further east. By nightfall, the Afrika Korps had reached an area twenty-five miles south of El Daba, providing the Luftwaffe with operational landing grounds close to the scene of the next battle. 260 Squadron of the RAF and the South African fighter squadrons were ordered back from LG-105 and LG-106 to LG-85 at Amriya during the day. ..

          Just one note. The book later mentions that Edwards flew ET574 on "13 July 1942" however this could be a typo in book or his logbook (ET575 also on sqn) or the fact he listed his flights by Sqn code letter rather than Serial


          Note: No mention of Copping flight to fix aircraft - maybe as this book was written 40 years later they just assumed he was paert of the retreat
          Paul
          Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.

          Comment

          • paulmcmillan
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Jan 2000
            • 2650

            Originally posted by H87A-2
            re: 23/10/42 12 Kittyhawk II
            Buz

            Thanks for eliminating that!
            Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.

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            • Bruce
              Independent analyst
              • Jan 2000
              • 10223

              Having had another look through the pictures, it is now my feeling that the pilot detonated the IFF in the rear fuselage, and this is what has caused the damage around the radio bay. There doesnt seem to be any other combat damage on the aircraft.

              That explosion might have caused the damage to the batteries and to the radio.

              The odd thing though is that the IFF timer is set to 'Off', though of course who knows what has happened to it in the intervening years!


              Bruce

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              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest

                Bruce

                Could it be that, for some reason, the IFF desrtruction charge self detonated due to a fault and this, ultimately, caused the loss of the aircraft?

                I have come across at least two recoded instances of this before.

                All conjecture, of course....but how fascinating!

                Comment

                • paulmcmillan
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 2650

                  Finally

                  I have got a copy of a few of the 260 SQN ORBS from the time as Buz says the detail is minimal to say the least and no serial to sqn code match ups. probably due the fludity of Sqn movement at the time

                  Also ET574 should be USAAF 41-35928 and Curtiss C/N 19761 (Corrected)


                  I say should as while Curtiss C/N are supposed to be consecutive there are a few times when they are not what you think they are. Most notably the TFC P-47G (built by Curtiss) for instance is in the right general area (within a few numbers) for its predicted C/N but not exactly.. - It is possible that on production line airfames had to be moved back due to damage etc

                  Paul
                  Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.

                  Comment

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

                    Originally posted by paulmcmillan
                    Finally

                    Also ET574 should be USAAF 41-25250 and Curtiss C/N 19761

                    I say should as while Curtiss C/N are supposed to be consecutive there are a few times when they are not what you think they are. Most notably the TFC P-47G (built by Curtiss) for instance is in the right general area (within a few numbers) for its predicted C/N but not exactly.. - It is possible that on production line airfames had to be moved back due to damage etc

                    Paul
                    Hi Paul

                    I have the Curtiss records and yes they (construction numbers and serials) dont always run in Sequence, in some cases Construction numbers have also been used twice (just to mess things up for resrachers later in life).

                    Best check your serial as its not correct> This aircraft was from the second batch of 1080 aircraft so should be 41-35xxx or 41-36xxx.

                    Buz

                    Comment

                    • DazDaMan
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Aug 2003
                      • 18706

                      Nothing I can add to the proceedings, but have to say that this has been one of the most fascinating threads in recent memory, from the "is it or isn't it" photos, to the revelations of the aircraft and pilot's eventual fates.

                      It's why I still come back here.

                      Daren Cogdon

                      Spitfire fanatic

                      Comment

                      • paulmcmillan
                        Rank 5 Registered User
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 2650

                        Originally posted by H87A-2
                        Hi Paul

                        Best check your serial as its not correct> This aircraft was from the second batch of 1080 aircraft so should be 41-35xxx or 41-36xxx.

                        Buz
                        Yep thanks missed the cntract switch over.. Corrected original post
                        Weather - Fair with cloudy patches, clear by early evening.

                        Comment

                        • Mark12
                          MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                          • Jan 2000
                          • 10863

                          59 Repair and Salvage Unit was operating in this area and had been based at Amriya. For an aircraft capable of being ferried, repairs should have been well within its scope, leaving major repairs to the operations at Cairo and Ismailia.

                          The 'Stocky' Edwards report suggests a picture of rapid and hasty retreat eastwards, behind the the Alamein line, in poor light or darkness, F/Sgt Copping paying the ultimate price.

                          "You know what to do with the lame ducks, chief".

                          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

                          • Batman
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Aug 2009
                            • 227

                            Buz and his mate Gordy are among the world's most renowned P-40 researchers. It's great to see him contributing to this most fascinating discovery, so welcome.
                            Buz, you might also like to check the pprune link:
                            http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...fs-finest.html

                            Comment

                            • teejaymac
                              Rank 3 Registered User
                              • Apr 2012
                              • 10

                              Originally posted by RAFRochford
                              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
                              No problems Steve All is forgiven

                              Terry McGrady

                              Comment

                              • Dobbins
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Feb 2012
                                • 448

                                Assuming it was Copping, they obviously found his body so he must have successfully made contact and succumbed before they reached him or a search party got there too late.

                                Whatever the story, this gets more fascinating...

                                Comment

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

                                  Not necessarily, as the Alamein Memorial commemorates those with no known grave.

                                  Comment

                                  • Guest's Avatar
                                    Guest

                                    Indeed. It seems no trace was found of Copping and he is still missing.

                                    Comment

                                    • RAFRochford
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Feb 2006
                                      • 911

                                      Originally posted by teejaymac
                                      No problems Steve All is forgiven

                                      Terry McGrady
                                      Hi Terry;

                                      Thanks for the understanding! I think I got over excited and all forum decorum went out of the window!

                                      Great to have you onboard the discussion!

                                      Regards;
                                      Steve

                                      Comment

                                      • Dobbins
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Feb 2012
                                        • 448

                                        Ahhhhhhhh. ok.

                                        Comment

                                        • Creaking Door
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Sep 2006
                                          • 9863

                                          What would be the normal CWGC procedure for dating the death of somebody missing, missing-presumed-dead and subsequently declared dead?

                                          Originally posted by Dobbins
                                          F/Sgt DCH Copping is listed as dying on 28 June 1942 on cwgc so not 'missing'
                                          Wouldnt the last known date be used as the date of death?
                                          WA$.

                                          Comment

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