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P-40 found in Egypt


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Great story...shades of "Lady be Good". The damage to the prop indicates it was still spinning when it crash landed. This has been widely reported in the UK. A search for the pilot's remains is being organized and they hope to recover the plane for permanent exhibition at the RAF museum in Hendon. Let's hope the souvenir hunters don't get there first!

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I just seen that story on CNN a few mins ago.. :thumbsup: as we did discuss that story i think a month or so on Forum and there sending a

group of British Military Experts out to Egypt as his body could be still out there in the Desert as his Parachute was found beside the P-40 Aircraft where they said his used the Parachute to keep him protected from getting Burnt from the Sun amazing Story for sure.

 

Hopefully they will find his remains where he can be brought back and properly laid to rest & buried in his own native countrys soil.

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This state of preservation is truly remarkable, the whole aircraft, considering.

post-3976-1336787870.jpg

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ThompsonSavage

Hopefully it gets home in one piece and they find the pilot.

 

Thanks for sharing

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Our local news have reported that this plane was originally flown by a Canadian pilot named James "Stocky" Edwards who is now 90 and lives just a few hours north of me. Apparently HS-B was his aircraft designation and this P-40 was his before it was taken out of service and flown by Sgt. Copping for repairs, a fateful flight that ended in the desert. Stocky Edwards went on to be issued another P-40 with the name designation numbers, continued to fly in the North African campaign and he became one of Canada's highest scoring aces.

 

Rick

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Jack's Son

It is an exciting find, I hope the plane gets proper restoration, and a good home!

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AAF_Collection

If as reported the aircraft is destined for the Royal Air Force Museum it will likely be displayed in a conserved,as-found condition just like the Halifax,Hurricane and Gladiator they have on display and the Dornier they are working on recovering from the sea off the South Coast of England.

 

Matt.

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Probably in the same vein as this Me109 display at the IWM, Duxford?

 

post-8022-1336909493.jpg

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AAF_Collection

I would guess so Ian,though the IWM 109 has been partially repainted whereas I would think the RAFM will aim to conserve the P-40 in as close to "as discovered" condition as possible,too bad the finders immediately started stripping the aircraft and as such compromising it's integrity as an archaeological site and possibly removing clues as to the fate of the pilot.

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  • 2 weeks later...
2/14 Marine

When I went to Eygpt on active duty we visited Montgomery's HQ outside Alexandria. They had a US military truck that had been buried in the sand for over 50 years. It was in the same condition as this P40.

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2/14 Marine

We also found alot of unexploded land mines. Who knows what is is hiding in the deserts on N. Africa

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  • 2 months later...
Braccobaldo

We have to add some informations about this.

 

The aircraft has been found in Feb.12 2012 from an Italian's oil research expedition in Egypt. In one of their expedition they found this p-40 that was missed june, 26 1942 with pilot MIA. The aircraft hasn't been downed but simply lost the route and being shortage of fuel the pilot tried a landing and survived. Later expeditions member brought the police to the aircraft location to remove 0.50 ammo meantime Uk ambassade was alerted of the found. At the time was requested to the italians and to the police to avoid to divulgate the exact position of the wreck so to preserve the p-40.

 

Unfortunally a local guide shared the info with a polish guy that shared the info on a polish forum. After that the wreck has been vandalized (glass broken with Ak-47, parts removed, instruments broken, switch changed from their original position) and locals organized tours for tourists.

 

A second expedition was prepared to find the pilot ramains. One the member of the oil research team who found the wreck is the vicepresident of ARIDO, an italian association that is involved in desert missions to find field sepoltures of italian soldier buried in north african battlefield. Starting from the P-40 the moved by feet for several kilometers, after 5km the found a uniform button, after 3km the found a copper tag from a company who was a RAF supplier during ww2. After more 3 kms, a team member saw a small white cloth waving in a bush. It is a small part from a parachute. They started to dig anf found some human bones, and a little metal tag. Until today is unknown the name of the human remains but probably is Sgt. DC Copping, pilot of the aircraft who tried to march in the desert.

 

Below the quotation of the Squadron Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji who had a similar experience during the war but witha different end:

The quotation below comes from published interviews with Squadron-Leader Mahinder Singh Pujji, DFC, one of (I think) the first batch of Indian pilots to serve in the European theatre during WW2. He arrived in the UK in late 1940; spent most of 1941 flying Hurricanes with 43 Squadron, RAF, on fighter sweeps over Occupied France; and then spent 1942 flying Kittyhawks in North Africa. He went back to India for the rest of the war, spending 1943 and part of 1944 on the North-West Frontier and eventually commanding No 4 Squadron, RIAF, in Burma

 

He's still alive, bless him; and occasionally pops up in pictures on the UK MoD website.

 

North Africa was a much more primitive theatre than Europe, and Pujji found the food a particular turn-off; particularly as he wouldn't, for religious reasons, eat bully beef. But there was plenty of flying, and that kept him happy; though a lot of it was the down-and-dirty business of close air support. Around the time of the fall of Tobruk he was shot down. In his own words:

 

"I was in a Kittyhawk and … my instrument panel suddenly shattered. … Later I found that a bullet had gone through my overalls - the same one that had shattered the panel. I preserved that as a souvenir for many years.

 

"Then … suddenly the aeroplane started disintegrating. I immediately throttled back and landed … in the middle of the desert, right in the sand. Every aeroplane had water and these sort of things, so I sat on top of the aircraft, waiting. I knew to the north was the Mediterranean Sea - I couldn't walk that far. South, east and west there was nothing. There was no choice for me …

 

"I was there for about nine-ten hours, when I saw a dust column. As it happened, it was our soldiers … retreating. I was picked up."

 

 

Mine was a summary of what you'll find a blog with many infos from the founders (in italian) and diagrams and photos of everything described above.

http://www.qattara.it/60-173%20Kittyhawk.htm

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We have to add some informations about this.......

Unfortunally a local guide shared the info with a polish guy that shared the info on a polish forum. After that the wreck has been vandalized (glass broken with Ak-47, parts removed, instruments broken, switch changed from their original position) and locals organized tours for tourists.......

This part of the story is rather SAD.

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AAF_Collection
This part of the story is rather SAD.

I agree JS,it's unfortunately all too common for such acts to occur when something like the P-40 is found. Earlier this month I was in London at a military archaeology seminar and one of the topics discussed was the looting of sites. On the WWI battlefields in France and Belgium bodies are still being found and archaeologists make every effort to ensure the soldier is identified prior to reburial in a cemetery,however this is sometimes prevented by looters who will attempt to access the area where the remains are located,often at night,and remove personal possessions,equipment and dog tags. In doing so they remove any hope of identifying the individual.

 

Matt.

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The aircraft has been found in Feb.12 2012 from an Italian's oil research expedition in Egypt.

The aircraft was discovered by the Egyptian drivers working for the Polish Geofizyka Toruń joint stock company. These drivers informed about a wreck the Polish geologists of the Geofizyka Toruń mentioned.

 

Unfortunally a local guide shared the info with a polish guy that shared the info on a polish forum. After that the wreck has been vandalized (glass broken with Ak-47, parts removed, instruments broken, switch changed from their original position) and locals organized tours for tourists.

I am not quite sure if there is a need to generate a kind of sensational-negative atmosphere around discovering this wreck? That aircraft is not an element of the Egyptian revolution under way now. How does anybody know that bullet holes come from AK-47? Nobody did ballistic expertise of these holes so far. The Polish geologist Mr Jakub Perka of the Geofizyka Toruń contacted immediately the RAF Museum, gave them GPS coordinates of crash site and from now on nobody devastated that P-40 because the British authorities did their best to avoid such a situation.

 

Let's try to find positive aspects of this unique story. :)

 

Best regards

 

Gregory

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
Does this make anyone else wonder how many other planes are still waiting to be found?

All the time... and whenever I hear of a new discovery, it also makes me want to try my hand at a little 'aviation archaeology'. Here in the Buffalo, NY area there were a good number of accidents during the war, with Bell and Curtiss aircraft going down here and there during test flights. Sometime back I managed to track down a possible location for a P-39 crash site, but never really went to investigate it. Not that there would be a helluvalot to find, but as the NYS lotto folks say... 'hey, you never know'.

 

 

Fade to Black...

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My mother lived on a farm between Youngstown and Wilson NY, about a mile south of Lake Ontario.

 

She used to tell about watching the P-39's flying, and being able hear them testing their guns out over the lake. That, and the German POW's they had harvesting apples on the farm brought the war home for her.

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