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

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  • beachcomber
    Mike Brewser
    • Jan 2011
    • 284

    Letter to MP

    Hi Guys
    I too have emailed my MP (James Gray) yesterday 25th August with this:

    Hello James
    I July I wrote to you concerning the discovery of ET574 P40 Kitty hawk in the Egyptian desert and you kindly sent my request to have the remains repatriated. The Rt Hon Andrew Robathan MP wrote to me detailing HM governments stance on these matters. I mentioned in my communication that some bones had been discovered some 5 kilometres distance from the aircraft these were to be tested to see if they were the remains of Dennis Copping. It now turns out that not only were they not DNA tested they have not even been excavated. Although a statement has now surfaced that the remains are 400 years old and not connected to the pilot. From what I understand age of bone cannot be determined using DNA. This is a 'hot potato' for the Government certainly as Remembrance Sunday is so close.

    So my questions are:
    Have the bones been excavated
    Have the bones been tested against a relative of Sgt Dennis Copping to determine whether these are in fact the remains of Dennis Copping.
    The information as to the age had come from the defence attach in Cairo namely Capt Collins how is this possible if the remains have not been tested. As far as I know no contact has been made to the relatives of Sgt Copping.

    Due to the discussions I have seen on-line concerning this, there are a lot of heated comments, I feel that a statement as to the true state of affairs would be in order.

    Reference:
    http://forum.keypublishing.co.uk/sho...d.php?t=120188

    regards
    Mike Brewser

    This morning in the post came this:

    Dear Mike
    Thank you for your email 25th October regarding Sgt Copping's remains.

    I am forwarding a copy of your email, and our previous correspondence on this subject to the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, Secretary of State for Defence to ask for his comments.

    I will, of course let you know how he responds.

    James Gray
    Pedantic I haven't been that for 4 minutes 36 secs
    http://www.arc-design-it.co.uk

    Comment

    • pat1968
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Apr 2004
      • 260

      Democracy in Action

      For those of you who may be thinking that you agree with the sentiments expressed here but that it won't do any good. We have received some heartening news from Qattara and his team. The MOD have finally contacted them regarding the bones and are apparently in discussions about a possible joint expedition to the site. Whilst we don't know the specifics and there are a great many hurdles to overcome it is at least a start. So democracy apparently works! Thank you to all of those who have taken the trouble to post on the forum and contacted their MP's. DO NOT STOP NOW! We must continue to apply what little pressure we can exert even if it just means we are shaming the MOD into action. Redouble any efforts that you might be making, sadly this is not an isolated incident. Rather one that has had the spotlight shone on it.
      I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to Qattara and his team, (especially given the reception he received in some quarters) whilst these remains may turn out not to be those of Dennis Copping, had it not been for the discovery we would not be in a position that we are now and Dennis would have been quietly forgotten.
      Last edited by pat1968; 26th October 2012, 17:17. Reason: title in the wrong place
      "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

      www.hawkerhind.com

      Comment

      • Peter
        Moderator
        • Jan 2000
        • 12508

        This sounds very promising...
        Cheers,Peter
        "Merlins always drip oil, when they don't....worry!"

        Comment

        • Guest's Avatar
          Guest

          We can but hope so, Peter, although rest assured that some of us will remain very much "on the case"...!

          Comment

          • Nachtjagd
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • May 2009
            • 290

            I recall reading one of quattara's earlier posts after finding these bones when he said that the 'parachute' material was not the same as the main chute found at the aircraft. He also said there was a faint 'red stripe' in the material. This sounds very much like a resupply chute, which might easily have been used by someone to cover a body for a desert burial. I wonder if too much importance is being placed on all of this business? I am sure that the crew of the 'Lady Be Good' B-24 managed to walk amazing distances through the desert. Of course we will never know how long the poor guy stayed by his plane but maybe bones found so close to the crash-landing are just too convenient?
            A Thousand Shall Fall

            Comment

            • TonyT
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Oct 2006
              • 9023

              Either way, the question needs answering to bring some closure to identity of the remains for the family, and by simply leaving those bones in place means it never will be.

              Comment

              • Guest's Avatar
                Guest

                Exactly as Tony T says, leaving the bones unexamined is not an option. The famliy are now left wondering, and especially since they were misinformed by the MOD that the remains were definitely not his when, in fact, nothing has been done to determine that fact - one way or the other.

                As regards to the parachute section reportedly found with the bones; in the photographs it looks to me exactly like the pieces at the crash site. There is a reddish/pinkish hue to portions of that 'chute, but no red stripe that is visible in the photograph.

                As to Nachjag's statement "I wonder if too much importance is being placed on all of this business?"....exactly! I wonder, too. And that is the whole point here. We all wonder, especially the family. And that is why it is important to find out.

                Postscript...one thing is curious about the parachute, though. In all the photographs I have seen, all that is visible are shards of the canopy and shroud lines. I have seen no evidence of the heavy webbing straps, the full harness, back-pad and seat pack...or of the metal bucles, D-ring or release box. Odd that they were not immediately obvious.
                Last edited by Tangmere1940; 27th October 2012, 12:42.

                Comment

                • TonyT
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Oct 2006
                  • 9023

                  I hope you do not mind, I have edited the above letter and have sent in my version to my MP

                  Dear Andrew Bridgen,

                  As Remembrance Day approaches, and as an ex serviceman, I am drawn to remember Flt Sgt Copping. He was the pilot of the P40 aircraft found (like a time capsule) in the Egyptian Desert earlier this year.
                  It is odd how easy it was to focus on the aircraft and the 'richness'/tantalising thought of it as a time capsule. Mentally, some had it being restored and flying...others pictured it in an 'as found' setting. All seems pretty silly now.....the bigger picture was a brave man surviving combat, surviving a crash landing and then attempting to walk out the desert and back into combat:- sadly to fail.
                  We REALLY do owe him more, we need to find him, we must find him and show how heroism and human sacrifice for others means more than just an exhibit in a museum.
                  In this day and age of repatriating the dead of our brave servicemen from the likes of Afghanistan we really need to treat this real hero better. Without people like Flt Sgt Copping we wouldn't be enjoying the freedom of what we call democracy and you and your colleagues wouldn't be enjoying the position you find yourself in today, the World would have been a far more evil place. These people died to defend that, maybe they are not in the public image such as those from current ongoing conflicts, but they protected the freedom this Country endures as much as those that do today.
                  Apparently some human bones were found and the MoD have allegedly discounted them as being from the pilot without even seeing or testing them. This basic test should be done, it is the LEAST that could be done. In this time of Remembrance and with our brave forces still dying for this country, I implore you to please ask The PM to find this hero and afford him the hero's burial he richly deserves. It could be done as part of an exercise.


                  Yours sincerely,

                  Tony T

                  Comment

                  • Guest's Avatar
                    Guest

                    Tony T

                    Your letter, and all of those who have written to their MP, will doubtless help.

                    Hopefully, it will enable some conclusion to be reached in due course. Further, it may well help in securing an open and honest explanation from the MOD as to what exactly has gone on.

                    Now is not the time to take off any pressure on the authorities.

                    Comment

                    • l.garey
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Feb 2006
                      • 1951

                      Yes, keep up the pressure so that we may finally get some material for analysis, such as the family really would like to have.
                      Laurence

                      Comment

                      • Mark V
                        Steve Atkin
                        • Jun 2003
                        • 3091

                        Originally posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
                        Postscript...one thing is curious about the parachute, though. In all the photographs I have seen, all that is visible are shards of the canopy and shroud lines. I have seen no evidence of the heavy webbing straps, the full harness, back-pad and seat pack...or of the metal bucles, D-ring or release box. Odd that they were not immediately obvious.
                        I would suggest that the owner very likely had a knife and decided to cut off and discard the heavy harness, etc once he decided to carry the 'chute with him in - order to save weight. Thats pure speculation of course...
                        www.warbirdcolour.co.uk

                        Comment

                        • Guest's Avatar
                          Guest

                          That could well be the case, and a very reasonable theory. However, as far as I know the harness etc has not been found (unless it turned up in the recent recovery operation?) and thus it begs the question; where is it? As far as we can tell the major part of the canopy and shroud lines were at the aircraft crash site. But not the harness.

                          Comment

                          • David Burke
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Jan 2000
                            • 10028

                            The 'time capsule' nature of this machine was dispelled when it was mentioned that locals knew of its existance before the 'discoverers' this year . Therefore items like parachute material and harness might well have been taken years ago for use.

                            Comment

                            • Guest's Avatar
                              Guest

                              Yes, that is entirely possible.

                              However, if desert dwellers had visited the site to remove 'useful' items I suppose I'd have expected other things to have been taken, too. They seem not to have been.

                              Comment

                              • Bruce
                                Independent analyst
                                • Jan 2000
                                • 10224

                                That hardly changes the fact that the aircraft was, and is a time capsule, in every sense of the word

                                Comment

                                • David Burke
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2000
                                  • 10028

                                  Its an assumption to believe that because items have not been disturbed the aircraft hasn't been visited in the last seventy years. Its been mentioned previously that locals knew of the aircraft. Apart from fabrics I am struggling to see what would be of massive use to local people -unless you have a reasonable tool kit much of what is fitted will remain there.

                                  Comment

                                  • Guest's Avatar
                                    Guest

                                    Perhaps so.

                                    However, all of that is really of little importance here and doubtless will be revealed when the full story of the actual P40 and its recovery is told.

                                    For now, and for the purpose of this thread, the interest lies with Flt Sgt Dennis Copping and his fate.

                                    Comment

                                    • paul178
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Mar 2011
                                      • 2925

                                      As Andy says
                                      "For now, and for the purpose of this thread, the interest lies with Flt Sgt Dennis Copping and his fate."

                                      I hope and pray he is found and given the full honour that he deserves.(along with any future aircrew recoveries wherever they fought and died for us.)
                                      I have kleptomania,But when it gets bad
                                      I take something for it.

                                      Comment

                                      • Guest's Avatar
                                        Guest

                                        Perhaps things are moving a little towards that direction now, following the starting of this thread by Pat and through publicity in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph.

                                        Comment

                                        • David Burke
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Jan 2000
                                          • 10028

                                          Will we actually ever know the true story of the aircraft ? The details are going to be a degree of guesswork as to why the aircraft ended up where it is and the sad fate of the pilot unless there is any kind of documentation found written by him at the time.

                                          Comment

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