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Old 05-12-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
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World War II fighter plane found in Sahara

A fighter plane from World War II that crashed in the Sahara 70 years ago has been unearthed, and holds clues to a missing pilot.

The Telegraph reports that the intact American-made Curtiss Kittyhawk P-40, which had remained untouched since its crash landing in 1942, was discovered by a Polish oil company worker, Jakub Perka, who was exploring a remote region of the Western Desert in Egypt, about 200 miles from the nearest town.

It is believed that the airman, Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping, 24, initially survived the crash, because a parachute found at the scene looks to have been used as a makeshift shelter. But no trace of the body was found, leaving experts to believe the pilot walked away from the flight, then walked to his death in a hopeless attempt to find civilization.

A military historian, noting that there would be no reason on earth to have found the plane in the middle of the desert, hailed the find as " a quite incredible time capsule, the aviation equivalent of Tutankhamun's Tomb."

The Canadian website Vintage Wings of Canada said the plane was in "incredible condition," but worried about looters to the site, which happens to be on a dangerous smuggling route between Sudan and Libya.

Vintage Wings also notes that the serial number appears to be ET574, a plane previously flown by Canadian pilot Stocky Edwards. The website adds, "To say we, at Vintage Wings, are excited by this find in an understatement."

A search is planned to locate the missing pilot's body, but officials don't believe that any remains will be found. Eventually, the aircraft will be moved to London's Royal Air Force Museum.



Tread lightly, 'tis a soldiers grave, A lonely, mossy mound; And yet to hearts like mine and thine It should be holy ground. Speak softly, let no careless laugh, No idle, thoughtless jest, Escape your lips where sweetly sleeps The hero in his rest. For him no reveille will beat When morning beams shall come; For him, at night, no tattoo rolls Its thunders from the drum. Tread lightly! for a man bequeathed, Ere laid beneath this sod, His ashes to his native land, His gallant soul to God
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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Wow! Thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-13-2012, 10:32 PM   #3
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Cool... my husband's grandfather was in the RAF during WWII and on his way home in Nov 1945, his aircraft crashed near Malta. They never found the plane or the crew. I hope one day with all the fab technology nowadays they might find his aircraft.
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:29 AM   #4
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A very cool piece of history there. But I'm kind of curios as to how an American plane which was once flown by a Canadian went down in the Sahara in Africa, discovered by a Pole and the plane ends up in an English museum? Did I get that right? lol Sorry just found that funny. Must still be the fever. lol

Nevertheless, AWESOME bit of history revealed. I imagine the sand probably kept it in excellent condition as the photos seem to suggest. Very cool, thanks NSB


@yaahl, very cool as well. I love hearing stories like these.
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