28.06.1942 No. 260 Squadron P-40 Kittyhawk III ET574 HS-B Fl/Sgt. Dennis Copping
Operation: Ferry flight
Date: 28th June 1942 (Sunday)
Unit: No. 260 Squadron
Type: P.40 Kittyhawk III
Location: Al Wadi al Jadid, Egypt
Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Dennis Charles Hughmore Copping 785025 RAFVR Age 24. Missing.
REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off to deliver the aircraft to have repairs to the undercarriage. It is understood that this had a problem as it could not be retracted.
Not a great deal of information to date as to what happened as there have been many conflicting reports.
Fl/Sgt. Dennis Copping looking down from the cockpit of the P40.
Left: Outside the mess in Egypt (courtesy John McLellan)
In March 2012, a Polish worker for an oil exploration company, Mr Jacub Perka, discovered the aircraft and revealed the photographs to the world.
It seems that since the discovery the aircraft has been either vandalised or suffered from very inexperienced researchers/locals.
The pilot's remains were not in the aircraft which leads to the theory that he survived and decided to try and reach some form of safety. His body has never been recovered.
Some describe the aircraft receiving damage from combat (photos of the recently recovered aircraft seem to confirm this - probably another reason that it was going in for repairs)
It is understood that efforts are being made to recover the aircraft back to England. Appreciate any further news on this by readers?
None - missing. It is hoped that his remains may possibly be recovered since the location of his aircraft had been found.
Fl/Sgt. Dennis Charles Hughmore Copping. Alamein Memorial. Panel 249. Son of Sydney Omer Copping and Adelaide Copping, of Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England.
Researched for relatives of the pilot in the hope that they may contact us. Acknowledgments: Mr Jacub Perka. IWM, John McLellan, Daily Mail, Aircrew Remembered archives.