JJC wrote:And most egregious of all - the desecration of what is essentially a war grave by the Egyptian authorities.
Was the wreck itself a war grave, though? Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_grave
) suggests that military aircraft are only classed as war graves if they crashed in water; “this is particularly true if crewmen perished inside the vehicle.” Neither applies in this case.
The UK Government (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/aviation-archaeology
) has this to say: “All military aircraft crash sites in the United Kingdom, its territorial waters, or British aircraft in international waters, are controlled sites under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.” and “Outside the United Kingdom, international or British territorial waters, the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986 does not apply. Excavations of crash sites of British aircraft are be subject to the laws of the country concerned. However, MOD policy is to discourage disturbance of such sites unless necessary in respect of host government approved activities, like land reclamation or construction.”
It seems to me that the RAF museum actively encouraged and facilitated disturbance of the site, because they wanted to recover the aircraft. So I don’t see how the Egyptians can be blamed on this score.
I believe from what I’ve read elsewhere that human remains were located in the vicinity, but after investigation were deemed not to be those of the pilot. If this is the case, then surely the pilot, sadly, has no known grave?
So I don’t see any desecration having taken place.