P-40 ET574 The Sahara

P-40 ET574

P-40s of 260 Squadron in the desert.

P-40 ‘Kittyhawk’
ET574, 260 Squadron
Sgt Dennis Copping (Missing)
Lost 28 June 1942
Sahara Desert, Egypt

Polish oil company surveyor Jakub Perka chanced upon the remains of a crashed plane 200 miles from the nearest city. It has now been identified as P-40 ET574, which disappeared in June 1942.
Sgt Copping was last seen by his fellow P-40 pilot F/Sgt Sheppard as they flew their aircraft to a repair depot. Sheppard could see that his leader was heading straight into the desert and away from their destination, but he was unable to persuade Copping of his error despite desperate attempts. Eventually Sheppard turned away and headed to his destination – and Sgt Copping’s aircraft disappeared for 70 years.
Although the aircraft has now been found, there is no trace of Sgt Copping’s body and he remains ‘Missing’.
The P-40 has now been recovered from the desert. The RAF Museum plan to return bring it to the UK for eventual display.

For more pictures, see the Telegraph’s photo gallery and More of Jakub Perka’s pictures.