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Thread: Sgt William Edwin Copp RCAF of 126 Sqn RAF shot down on 27 December 1941

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    Default Sgt William Edwin Copp RCAF of 126 Sqn RAF shot down on 27 December 1941

    Hello,

    I would like to add some details to how and when Sgt William Edwin Copp RCAF of 126 Sqn RAF was shot down near/over Malta on 27 December 1941.

    The two German claims in this battle are 30 km east of Malta, but it seems that Copp baled out over land, as there is no mention of a rescue in the books "Malta the Hurricane years" or "Call-out: a wartime diary of air/sea rescue operations at Malta", both of which said he baled out. It is also confirmed by his logbook that is online there:
    https://www.emedals.com/an-evocative...ictories-c0832

    I don't have the book "Hurricanes over Malta, June 1940 - April 1942" that may have more details.

    I am searching the crash place/area of the Hurricane, and if possible his serial.

    Thanks in advance

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    Hello,

    From Brian Cull & Frederick Galea's Hurricanes Over Malta (p.173) (they give the date as Boxing Day 1941, ie 26 December 1941):

    The mid-afternoon raid was again directed against Luqa and caused much devastation. Four Wellingtons were destroyed including one which blew up, while a Maryland and PR Hurricane (Z2332) of 69 Squadron were severely damaged. Both 126 and 249 Squadrons went up and were engaged by Bf109Fs of Stab/JG53, 126 Squadron lost an aircraft to the Messerschmitts with Ted Copp baling out of Z2680, slightly wounded, while Sqn Ldr Mortimer-Rose crash-landed at Luqa with a dead engine and shrapnel lodged in his heel. Both pilots were taken to hospital for treatment...

    Sgt Ted Wood's diary contains an account of the action as he witnessed it:

    "Came off (duty) at dawn and had breakfast. Stayed in mess until 1.00pm. Got a couple of letters. An attempted attack in the morning but nothing seemed to come down. The sirens went about 2.00pm and the biggest attack yet developed, 25 Hurricanes airborne. Two separate attacks by 88s were made on Luqa, three or four quite large fires were started, probably aircraft. The Hurricanes were all together, very low down and did not intercept but AA opened up and covered the sky. The 88s went straight down through the clouds. Saw about six 109s nipping on top of the clouds, just above us, AA opened up and shrapnel just missed me as I took some photos of the fires. Went down to mess for tea. Sirens went again, 21 Hurricanes up for 40+ fighters. Saw one top weaver jumped and he force-landed at Luqa. Saw another one attacked and glycol streamed out, the aircraft did some queer antics, finally the pilot baled out and the kite crashed not far away. Learned later it was Ted Copp, he was OK apart from shock and a flesh wound. The other chap was the CO of 249."

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 27th December 2016 at 12:01.

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    Thanks Col,

    Seems the good date was actually the 26th, as in the book above.

    The Malta Diary website, describing those days show three raids on the 26th:
    _ one in the morning, a Hurricane pilot being wounded
    _ one in the early afternoon, during which Luqa with bombed and several aircraft destroyed
    _ one in mid-afternoon during which one pilot (Ted Copp) was shot down
    https://maltagc70.wordpress.com/2016...-raid-on-luqa/

    The log book of Copp was sold online and pictures are available. The text below say he was shot down on the 27th, and teh close picture don't show the date, but the overall picture above shows it, and it seems a 26 to me.
    https://www.emedals.com/an-evocative...ictories-c0832

    Just to close this case, Shore's book "The Hurricane years" say that on the 27th, American Plt Off Howard M Coffin landed safely his heavily damaged Hurricane. Does it take place on the 26th or the 27th ? He could be the "top weaver" in Sgt Wood's diary.

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