“Despite the crash impact, most of the aircraft’s cockpit instruments are intact,” according to the report.
In 1942 [the pilot] was a member of the RAF’s 260 Squadron, a fighter unit based in Egypt during the North Africa campaign.
By June of that year the Allies were retreating from ‘Desert Fox’ Erwin Rommel and his German forces.
On June 28 Ft Sgt Copping and another airman were tasked with flying two damaged Kittyhawk P-40 planes from one British airbase in northern Egypt to another for repair.
During the short flight Ft Sgt Copping lost his bearings, went off course and was never seen again.
It was documented at the time that there was a fault with its front landing gear which would not retract and the photographic evidence suggests the aircraft had its front wheel down when it crashed.
There is also flak damage in the fuselage, which is also consistent with documented evidence of Ft Sgt Copping’s plane.