P-40 Kittyhawk found in the Sahara

Seventy years after it crashed, an RAF P-40 Kittyhawk has been found in the Sahara Desert. 24-year-old Flt Sgt Dennis Copping apparently survived the crash, but his situation was hopeless. He apparently walked out into the desert since staying with the plane afforded no hope of rescue, and his remains have not been found.

Ok I totally read that wrong. I thought it was about a 40 lb cat that was found in the desert.

Awesome story and photos.

And by awesome, I mean “inspiring of a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder”.

Those WWII flyboys and planes were something else.

Indeed. The photos are amazing. Especially the penultimate one of the man standing in the wastes. My adolescent and young adult years were spent in a desert, and many times I’ve been ‘in the middle of nowhere’. That photo brings back memories. So did the others. I’ve found junk in the desert, and I’ve always stopped to think about how long it had been there and how it got there. (Abandoned, falling-apart houses were poignant too.)

The P-40, I think, is an under-appreciated aircraft. Its ‘shining moment’ took place with the AVG before the U.S.'s entry into the war. But from New Guinea to the Sahara it soldiered on throughout the war.

It’s in remarkably good condition, I wonder if it’s salvageable like Glacier Gal. Kind of reminds me of an old TV movie called Pursuit where a German tank chases a P-40 that can’t fly around the desert.

Dying alone in the desert is one of my strongest irrational fears. :frowning: Not that the fear itself is irrational, But the level of horror and dread it fills me with considering the chances of it happening to me in Michigan

Great article. If you haven’t heard of it, google up the Lady Be Good. Same kind of thing but a B-24 Liberator bomber rather than a fighter.

There was a thread about this at the Professional Pilot’s Rumour Network a few weeks ago - at first people thought the pictures were fake, and then there was a lot of worry that souvenir hunters would strip the wreckage. There were a couple of Youtube videos of Egyptian army soldiers taking bullet boxes out of the wings. I assume we’ll never know what happened to the pilot - he would have died even if he’d stayed with the wreckage, unless he could somehow have got the radio working. Poor chap.

Also makes you wonder what else may be out there.

A few years ago a Sherman tank was found in France (from memory a road had been built over it) Just researched it - it was 2008.

Anyway, I guess there would be countless wrecks in the South Pacific but the climate would be far more likely to wreck them than in a dry place like the Sahara.

Without being unkind to the P 40 there were quite a few manufactured. It would be nice if something a little rarer could also be found. A Defiant would be nice (not that they ever were employed there).

Update with more pix: Pilot’s relatives found (but pilot’s pic is flopped).

Thanks for that link. Copping looks older than 24. I’ve noticed that a lot of kids looked older back then.

For further reading, A Good Clean Fight is the second book in Derek Robinson’s WWII trilogy about the fictional Hornet Squadron. In it, Hornet Squadron are fighting in North Africa and flying P-40 Tomahawks.

Can you imaging surviving the crash and getting out and looking around?

Great link! Did anyone notice how closely that part of the Sahara looks like Mars? To me, the resemblance is striking.