May 17, 2012
A Polish oil company worker exploring the Egyptian desert came across a very well-preserved Royal Air Force Curtiss P-40 that had remained in place since it crashed in June of 1942.
The Egyptian army quickly swooped in to confiscate the old fighter's six .50 cal. machine guns and their ammunition, which was in remarkably good condition after 70 years in the open.
The plane's pilot apparently survived the crash, but probably perished while trying to walk out of the desert. As the crash site was 200 miles from the nearest town, that effort would have been futile.
While most Americans know the P-40 from its use by the Flying Tigers, it was more notably utilized by the RAF and Australian, French and Soviet air forces. Although it was obsolescent at the start of World War II, more than 13,000 were made.