Jakub Perka, an oil company employee, was exploring in the Sahara desert near a smuggling route running between Libya and Sudan, 200 miles from the nearest town. He stumbled across a scene from 70 years ago, frozen in time by the desert: a crashed R.A.F. P-40 Kittyhawk, almost perfectly preserved.
Markings on the plane indicated that it was flown by Flight Sergeant Dennis Copping, a member of 260 Squadron based in Egypt which fought against Rommel in North Africa. Copping was flying to a British air base on June 28th, 1942, when he went off course and was never seen again.
Evidence at the crash site suggests that Copping built a shelter using material from his parachute, and that he pulled the radio and battery from his plane in an attempt to contact aid. His remains were not found near the crash site; it is likely that he tried to walk out of the desert and died in the attempt. Ft Sgt Copping was 24.