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Archive Report: Allied Forces

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
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260 Squadron Crest
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

Serial: ET574

Code: HS-B

Location: Al Wadi al Jadid, Egypt

Pilot: Fl/Sgt. Dennis Charles Hughmore Copping 785025 RAFVR Age 24. Missing.


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?

Burial Details:

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.

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Sources used by us in compiling Archive Reports include: Bill Chorley - 'Bomber Command Losses Vols. 1-9, plus ongoing revisions', Dr. Theo E.W. Boiten and Mr. Roderick J. Mackenzie - 'Nightfighter War Diaries Vols. 1 and 2', Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt - 'Bomber Command War Diaries', Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Tom Kracker - Kracker Luftwaffe Archives, Michel Beckers, Major Fred Paradie (RCAF) and MWO François Dutil (RCAF) - Paradie Archive (on this site), Jean Schadskaje, Major Jack O'Connor USAF (Retd.), Robert Gretzyngier, Wojtek Matusiak, Waldemar Wójcik and Józef Zieliński - 'Ku Czci Połeglyçh Lotnikow 1939-1945', Archiwum - Polish Air Force Archive (on this site), Anna Krzystek, Tadeusz Krzystek - 'Polskie Siły Powietrzne w Wielkiej Brytanii', Franek Grabowski, Norman L.R. Franks 'Fighter Command Losses', Stan D. Bishop, John A. Hey MBE, Gerrie Franken and Maco Cillessen - Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces, Vols 1-6, Dr. Theo E.W. Boiton - Nachtjagd Combat Archives, Vols 1-13. Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of CWGC, UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, New Zealand National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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