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Royal Air Force Fighter Found in Sahara Desert 70-Years After It Went Missing

by Shane McGlaun

The number of soldiers on both sides of WWII that were killed or went missing is just staggering. Now, the mystery surrounding one RAF pilot and what happened to him and his plane has been solved after 70 years. RAF flight Sergeant Dennis Copping climbed into his Kittyhawk P-40 aircraft in June 1942 to fly the plane to another airbase for repairs. He was never seen or heard from again.

p40-tb-1zoom in

The RAF long believed that Copping became disoriented during his flight and strayed off course. Recently an explorer working for an oil company came upon a very odd site in the Western Desert in Egypt. The explorer came upon a mostly intact and incredibly well preserved P-40 sitting on the ground in the desert.

p40-tb-6zoom in

The aircraft had some damage from the crash, for one the propeller was torn off and lying away from the aircraft. The plane also notably had what appeared to be bullet holes in the fuselage. It’s unclear if those bullet holes were the damage the pilot was taking the aircraft in to have repaired or if perhaps they are why the aircraft crashed in the desert. The aircraft was complete with its .50 cal machine guns and ammo and hasn’t been touched since the pilot left the aircraft sitting on the desert floor.

Indications are that the pilot survived the crash. The pilot’s parachute was found alongside the wreckage along with a makeshift shelter. However, the pilot’s remains are nowhere to be found. The theory is that the pilot tried to walk out of the desert and perished somewhere in the sands. The crash location is 200 miles from the nearest city.

[via Daily Mail]

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