• History of the base from 1946 to 1949.
  • The 160th (Belgian) Wing becomes the 160th Fighter-Day Wing.
  • The 160th Fighter-Day Wing becomes the 1st Fighter-Day Wing.
  • Mosquito’s NF30 acquisition.
  • Formation of 10th Night Fighter Squadron. (Mosquito NF-30)
  • Formation of Auxiliary Squadron.
  • Formation of 4th Fighter-Day Squadron
  • 349th Squadron receives its first jet, followed by 350th and 4th Squadrons.


Beauvechain : 1946 - 1949.



- December 1st 1946: Maj Louis-Emmanuel "Manu" Geerts, former leader of the famous RAF 609th Sqn becomes Commanding Officer of the 349 Squadron.

  • Picture 4612-01 :  Maj "Manu" Geerts, in front of TD184 GE-R shades his eyes from the sun. To is right, Jan Mathys.



- 1947:  Both 349th and  350th Squadrons settle gradually into their new environment.
Their first shelter is a former Luftwaffe hangar which has been restored. The “Siemens Halle” was used to repair and overhaul aircraft electrical and radio systems.

  • Picture 4700-01:  The first maintenance facilities of 349 Sqn and 350 Sqn ; the restored "Siemens Halle".
    Actually, a 75 meters long building built by the Luftwaffe, which can contain up to six aircraft, initially used to maintain aircraft electrical and radio systems.
  • Picture 4700-02: The mechanics and their first crew room, on the side of the hangar. 


- January 1947 : The contract for the acquisition of 22 Mosquito NF30 (NF for Night Fighter) is signed at a cost of 3.310.000 BF each.
All the concerned aircraft flew with the Royal Air Force during WWII.
Two additional aircraft are ordered to be used as Instructional Airframe (NT450 et NT563)
The serial numbers are from MB-1 to MB-24. They represent the provision of the upcoming Night Fighter squadrons.
The first Mosquito (NT446 MB-1) is taken on charge on November 1947.

Note: Even if the use of wood is already considered as obsolete in the late forties, the Mosquito is constructed of Balsa/Birch plywood. Therefore, the lifetime of a Mosquito is somewhat limited.
The whole Mosquito NF30 fleet will be retired from active duty on the 18th of August 1955, and struck off charge in October 1956.

- January 16th 1947: Lt Eric Born at the controls of Spitfire XVI TB373 crashes at the limit of the airfield. After an engine stall during take-off phase, the decision to turn back to the runway is fatal to Lt Born.

- Early 1947: The Royal Air Force ranks are replaced by their equivalents in the Belgian Air Force.


160th Fighter-Day Wing


- April 1st 1947: The 160th (Belgian) Wing becomes 160th Fighter-Day Wing.

- April 17th 1947 : The two squadrons, still flying the Spitfire XVI, (*) start to receive the powerful Spitfire XIV powered by the Rolls-Royce Griffon 65.
The three first Spit's XIV are taken on charge by the Belgian Air Force on the 17th of April, following aircraft are delivered at a rate of 4 to 5 each a month.

(*) The Spitfire XVI was the same as the Mk IX except for the engine, a Packard-Merlin 266 built under license by Packard (USA).
According to the "Lend-Lease" agreements signed between the United-States and the Great-Britain, those Spitfire XVI aircraft could not be assigned to a third country and had to be returned to R.A.F. (see July 1947 below)

Below the Battle Order of the 349 Squadron:

Flight A 

Flight B

Mascaux Jean                        

Van Den Bosch René             

Mathijs Jan

Creckillie Armand   

Branders Léon

Laforce Albert

Deneyer Ernest

Techy Robert

Dubois Jacques

Goose Bruno

Moury Jean 

Godefroid Hubert

  • Picture: 4704-01: One of the first Spitfire's XIV received by the 349 Squadron within the 1Wing, on July 3rd 1947. (RM870)
  • Picture: 4704-02: The cockpit of the Spitfire XIV.

Note :


The RPM indicator shows a max RPM of 5000 RPM for Griffon engine                        

(4000 RPM for the Merlin)          


The "BOOST" pressure shows a turbocharger max pressure of +24 PSI

(+16 PSI for the Merlin)


- June 1947: Sqn Ldr E.Van Lierde hands over the command of 350 Sqn to Cpn R.Duchateau. 

- July 1947 : About fifteen Spitfire's XIV have been delivered to the 160th Day Fighter Wing.

One of the last delivered is RM870 GE-B.
It has to be noted that a few typical RAF markings are still present on the aircraft delivered in 1947 :

  • A sky blue band on the aft fuselage immediately forward of tail plane, identifying the plane as a "Full Time Day Fighter Aircraft".
  • The RAF serial is applied on part on the fuselage band.
  • The Belgian roundel follows the RAF "Type C" model.

The Spitfire XVI received on loan by R.A.F. the time to be delivered with the Spit XIV's are now stocked before to be sent back to the Great-Britain.



- November 5th 1947: The Maj "Manu"Geerts, hands over the command of 349 Squadron to Maj Paul Deschamps.

The squadron is divided into two Flights.

  • The A Flight is under the authority of Cpn Léon DIVOY and includes the following pilots :
    • Hubert GODEFROID
    • Joseph HUBERT
    • Herman KREPS
    • Harry SAEYS
  • The B Flight is commanded by Cpn Jan MATHYS and is composed by the following pilots :
    • François GOOSE
    • Olivier LECLERCQ
    • Louis LECOMTE
    • Julien NOTTE
    • André RAICK

The administration of the squadron is performed by the Lieutenants August Francken & Robert Techy.

  • Picture 4711-01 & 4711-02 : 349 Squadron (Pilots & Mechanics)
    The two squadrons’ flights with CO Deschamps strike a pose in front of a Spitfire XIV.
    The Spitfire on the side is also a Spitfire XIV : RM672 GE-T (349 Sqn) has been sold by R.A.F. to the Belgian Air Force in June 1947.
  • Below the identification files of both pictures 4711-01 & 4711-02.

 4711-01 - 349 Sqn & Spitfire XIV.49 Sqn & Spitfire XIV.

 4711-02 - 349 Sqn Ground-crew & Spitfire XIV




- January 16th 1948 : Somewhere in the north of Tienen, Sgt Tony de Maere d'Aertrijcke (350 Sqn) is flying quietly at 3000 ft when its engine fails without notice.

He's forced to make a belly landing in a ploughed field at Attenrode-Wever near Glabbeek.
Tony de Maere is unhurt, but his Spitfire XIV (NH712 - SG20) is badly damaged ; right wing torn off, left wing u/s, engine u/s, only the tail is recoverable. 


1st Fighter-Day Wing. 

- February 1st 1948: the 160th Fighter-Day Wing becomes the 1st Fighter-Day Wing.

Both squadron (349 & 350) are almost completely equipped with Spitfire XIV.
However, the availability remains low due to several accidents during landing, and engine problems leading to some emergency landings.
A lot of damages but fortunately not too serious physical injuries. 


- March 12th 1948 : Sgt Joseph HUBERT who joined the 349 squadron a few days ago is so busy by his approach for runway 04 he forgets to lower the landing gear and lands his Spitfire XIV (NH688 - GE-V) on the belly.

Sgt Hubert is unhurt. The aircraft will be repaired and will fly again the following year within the 1Sqn of 2Wing under the squadron code 3R-E.

- March 17th 1948 : The Treaty of Brussels is signed between Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
The parties decide to create a common military defense system and strengthen their economical as well as cultural links.
However, the threat of the USSR and Eastern Bloc will push the European countries to request very soon the assistance of the USA, this process leading to the establishment of NATO on April 4th 1949.

- March 17th 1948 : Spitfire XIV RM787 SG-28 "E" (350 Sqn) taken in charge by the Belgian Air Force on the 15th of January 1948 is written off two months later on this 17th of March 1948 as a result of a stall during the landing phase.

The aircraft is completely destroyed in consecutive fire, but Sgt Paul Taminiaux from 350 Sqn escapes unhurt.

- March 25th 1948 : Ground collision after landing in formation between the Spitfire XIV SG-35 (RM770) of Sgt Robert Bayart (350 Sqn) and the Spitfire XIV SG-15 (RM685) of Sgt Julien Notte (349 Sqn).

The aft fuselage as well as the tail of the SG-15 are damaged but repairable in factory. The aircraft is transported to Fairey (Gosselies) a few days later for repair. The aircraft will be fixed with the tail recovered from the SG-20 which crash-landed at Attenrode-Wever on the 16th of January.

- May 1948: A first batch of 3 Meteor T.7, the two-seat trainer version of the famous Gloster Meteor fighter is ordered at a cost of £ 31,000 per unit, and are numbered ED1, ED2, and ED3. The Gloster construction numbers are G-5-212, G-5-213 and G-5-214 respectively.
They are delivered in numerical order, September 9th and 20th December, 1948.

  • Picture 4805-01: One of the first Meteor T7 belonging to the 1 Wing in the early months of 1949.
  • Picture 4805-02: The parking stand of hangar C7 (349 Sqn) in 1949.
    Note the Control Tower facing the Meteors.
    From L to R : Meteor T7 (EDx) – Meteor F4 (EF1) – Meteor T7 (ED2) – Airspeed Oxford.
  • Picture 4805-03: Meteor T7, ED1 et ED2 on the same stand in 1949. 


- June 1948: Formation of a night fighter flight composed of 4 DH-98 “Mosquito” NF30. (4 pilots & 5 navigators)
This flight is the pioneer of our upcoming first night fighter squadron, the 10th Squadron which will be formed within a few months.
The flight is placed under the command of a former R.A.F. night fighter pilot: Maj François Vandenplassche.


- July 1948: Maj Marcel Mullenders replaces Maj Paul Deschamps at the command of 349 Squadron.

Even if the authorities haven't made any decision yet concerning the re-equipment of the fighter squadrons in "Jets" some milestones are aready set.
The first three two-seater Meteors for jet conversion and advanced training should be delivered by autumn 1948.
Another milestone is the designation of Maj Mullenders as Commanding Officer of the 349Sqn, which is already scheduled to be the first squadron to be converted on Meteor.
Maj Mullenders is among the Belgian Air Force pilots the only one to have some operational background on "Jet". Being a pilot within the RAF 616 Sqn during the war, his squadron was the first to be equipped with the Meteor F.3 fighter. He was also part of the first five pilots of the squadron to be converted on Meteor.


- July 12th 1948: The 1st Fighter-Day Wing moves to Koksijde shooting practice range till August 7th.
349th Squadron as well as 350th Squadron Spitfires shoot on targets towed by Miles Martinet TT1 aircraft within the shooting range situated offshore the Belgian coast.
Originally, 9 Miles Martinet target towing aircraft are bought for the use of the Fighter School and are delivered in 1947. They will be used by the  Target Towing Flight (TT Flight)
A military shooting range is also available not far away from Nieuwpoort, and is used for air-ground shooting and bombing.
The flight line is located along the runway 11/29 not far away from the control tower.

During these shooting campaigns, the weapon technicians (especially) are required to work at their maximum capacity : reloading and cleaning of the guns, gun harmonisation, etc.

But the other specialties (Engine, Airframe, Electrical, Instruments...) are not spared either...


The mechanics usually work by pair, an "engine" specialist and an "airframe" specialist by aircraft.
Below, Jan Daniels (Engine) and Jan Vissenaken (Airframe) are working on the Spitfire GE-B of Sgt Harry Saeys. (349Sqn)


- August 25th 1948: Cpn Guy de Patoul takes command of 350 Squadron.

- Octobre 15th 1948: The first Gloster Meteor T.7 is delivered to the 1st Fighter-Day Wing by Lt.Col. “Mike” Donnet.

  • Picture 4810-01 to 4810-04 : The Gloster Meteor T.7 shown seems to be the ED1.

- November 10th 1948 :  Two of the last Spitfires XIV (*) delivered to the 350 Sqn are flying in pair for a mission in altitude.
The two pilots take photographs of each other during this mission : Lt Albert Procureur (350 Sqn) in the SG56 (MN-W) take a picture of Lt Tony de Maere d'Aertrijcke (350 Sqn) flying the SG66 (MN-V) and vice-versa.

(*) SG56 (MN-W) has been delivered to the squadron on the 24.August.1948, while SG66 (MN-V) has been delivered the 05.October.1948.


The Beauvechain Air Base in 1948.


  • Pictures 4800-01 to 4800-05 : A few pictures of the airfield in 1948.
  • Pictures 4800-01 & 4800-02 : Note the two new aircraft hangars in the south-west of the field, between the two runways.
    The hangar on the left (C7) houses the 349 Squadron, while the right one (C3) houses the 350 Squadron.
  • Picture 4800-03 : Detail of the buildings at south-east of the base, at the end of the Runway 22.
    The two hangars have been constructed by the Luftwaffe, but only the larger on the left, the "Siemens Halle", is still operational.
    The one on the right, made of two sections (Erla Maschinenwerk) has been partly destroyed during the base bombing in 1944.
    Click on the link to display an aerial picture taken in the late fifties, during the CF-100 era.
  • Picture 4800-04 : Detail of the Ammunition Storage, also built by the Luftwaffe.
  • Picture 4800-05 : Another general view of the airfield. The previous detail pictures have been extracted from this picture.




- January 15th 1949: The military aviation is officially named: Belgian Air Force. (Force Aérienne Belge – Belgische Luchtmacht)

- March 12th 1949 : Belgium places an order for 48 Meteor F.4 at a cost of £29,400 each with delivery scheduled for completion by 30th November.
The Gloster Meteor F.4 (Fighter) is the advanced version of the Meteor F.3, first production aircraft built in 1944.
The Meteors will carry the Gloster construction numbers commencing G-5-246 and the Belgian Air Force serials EF1 to EF48, and will equip the 349 Squadron first, then the 350 Squadron and finally the 4th day fighter squadron which will be established in December. .
The delivery from Gloster plant at Brockworth start in April with the EF2, EF6 and EF7.
The aircraft are received by the 349 Squadron, which becomes the first Belgian squadron to fly a jet fighter aircraft.

The ten members of this “Belgian Jet Squadron” are:

  • Maj Mullenders Marcel   (CO 349 Squadron)
  • Cpn Divoy Léon              (Flight CO)
  • Cpn Kreps Herman
  • Cpn Mathijs Jan              (Flight CO)
  • Cpn Piquin Fernand
  • SLt Bayart Robert
  • SLt Leclerq Olivier
  • Adj Goose François
  • Sgt Saeys Harry

  • Picture 4903-02: One of the first Meteor F.4 received by the 349 Squadron in April 1949,  numbered EF7.
  • Picture 4903-03: A group of mechanics and a pilots pose with EF2, which will be involved in the first fatal crash of the 349 Squadron with a Gloster Meteor.
    EF2 will collide with EF35 during a break, and will crash between Namur and St Gérard on the 20th of December 1951.
    The two pilots: Adj P. Deschamps and Sgt H. Meys will both die in the crash.
  • Picture 4903-04: Adj François Goose in the cockpit of the Meteor F.4 GE-N.


- 4th of April 1949: Twelve nations from Western Europe and North America sign the North Atlantic Treaty (NATO) in Washington D.C.

A key feature of this treaty is Article 5, in which the signatory members agree that an "Armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered as an attack against them all."
Initially, the alliance is not well prepared to carry out this mission due to shortages of troops and equipment as well as a lack of command structure to direct the overall defense of Western Europe. Only committees are charged with drawing up plans for the defense of their regions.
Belgium commits to provide for late 1954 12 day-fighter squadrons, each squadron consisting of 16 aircraft, and 8 night-fighter squadrons for a total of 256 aircraft.

- May 15th 1949: The 349 Squadron is the first Belgian squadron to be fully equipped with the Meteor IV.


  • Picture 490515-01: The 349th Squadron flight line in September 1949.
  • Note the control tower in the background.
    The control tower was initially built by the Luftwaffe on a place being at the intersection of the two runways, in front of the hangar C7.
  • Picture 490515-02: A closer look on the Control Tower.
  • Picture 490515-03: Another view of the flight line.
  • Picture 490515-04: The personal aircraft of CO Mullenders, EF-22 GE-A.
    Note the 350 Sqn Meteor on the parking next door.
  • Picture 490515-05: A mechanic (José Theys) in the cockpit of the personal aircraft of Maj Marcel Mullenders, 349 Squadron's CO.
    The triangular pennant painted on the side of the forward fuselage shows that pilot is directly issued from R.A.F.
  • Picture 490515-06: Closer look on the mechanic and the pennant.

- June 3rd 1949: First crash for the night fighters. Mosquito NF30 MB-3 ND-K crashes at Beauvechain and is declared Cat.5.
Less than two weeks later, the MB-6 is also crashed. Fortunately both air crews will escape unhurt.


- June 12th 1949: The Belgian Military Aviation celebrates its 35th anniversary.

Meeting Evere 490612

At this occasion, an air-show is organized at Melsbroek which is the departure airfield for all the aircraft, and at Evere which hosts hundred thousand people coming from all over the country.

Some of the allied air forces are represented, in particular the ones coming from France, Great-Britain, United States and Holland.
Less than two months after the receiving of the first Meteor, (April 1949) by the Belgian Air Force, a section composed of nine Meteors F.4, led by Maj Mullenders (CO 349 Sqn) perform some simulated strafing’s on the airfield.

Maj François Vandenplassche, who will become very soon the commander of the 10th Night Fighter Squadron leads a formation composed of six NF.30 Mosquitoes.

The newly formed aerobatic team of the 350Sqn performs for the first time at this occasion.
The formation is composed of three Spitfire XIV and is led by Maj Guy de Patoul, commander of the squadron since the 25th of August 1948.
The wingmen are Lt Yves Bodart and Lt Albert Procureur.


- July 1949: 350 Squadron pilots start their conversion training on Meteor F.4.

  • Picture 4905-01: CO Guy de Patoul & 350Sqn in summer 1949.
  • Picture 4905-02: 350 Sqn flight line in 1949. In the front, EF23 MN-M followed by EF24 MN-Q.
  • Picture 4905-03: The trolley on the side of the Meteor is called "Trolley-Acc". It contains the 24VDC batteries required by the the Rolls-Royce Derwent engine electrical starter. 



10th Night Fighter Squadron.


- July 2nd 1949: Formation of the 10th Night Fighter Squadron.

(De Havilland Mosquito NF.30 – Squadron Code: ND – Emblem : A silver dragon.) 

Insigne 10eme Escadrille02


The 10th Squadron’s first CO is Maj François Vandenplassche. He will hand over the leadership to Maj Charles Roman on the 1st of October.

  • Picture 4907-01 : Maj François Vandenplassche, CO of the 10th Night Fighter Squadron leads a formation composed of six Mosquitoes during the meeting of Evere, on the 12th of June 1949.
  • Picture 4907-02: Charles Roman, in front of a Mosquito NF.30, will take the commands of the squadron the 1st October.
  • Picture 4907-03: On the wing tips of this MB20, the “Rebecca” antenna which is part of the “Rebecca/Eureka” radar navigation system. (*)
    (*) The Rebecca/Eureka transponding radar was a short-range radio navigation system  composed of two parts, the Rebecca airborne transceiver and antenna system, and the Eureka ground-based transponder.



July 3rd 1949 : International air-show at Auxerre (Fr)

Maj Guy de Patoul, commander of the 350 Squadron performs for the second time with its demonstration team in front of some french and belgian military authorities such as Gen-Maj Lucien Leboutte, Chief of Staff of Belgian Air Force.
The two wingmen are Lt Yves Bodart and Lt Albert Procureur.
A solo display is performed by Lt Joseph Laloux.

The formation of Guy de Patoul meets the official demonstration team of the French Air Force ; "l'Escadrille de Présentation de l'Armée de l'Air - E.P.A.A. 58" also called "Patrouille d'Etampes" since the actual leader Roger Perrier was a member of the famous pre-war aerobatic team.
The french team flies the Stampe SV-4C and is composed of three pilots flying in formation and one pilot flying "Solo".

Cpn    Roger Perrier Leader  
Lt Yves-Marie    Kerguélen Wingmen    From EC 1/2
Lt René Darbois (*) Wingmen From EC 1/3
Cpn Marc Izaac de Ksba Tadia    Solo From EC 1/5





A youg female aviator named Jacqueline Auriol performs in public for the first time during the meeting with a Morane MS-342.
She's coached by Raymond Guillaume, former pilot of the Etampes aerobatic team and currently instructor pilot at Morane-Saulnier.
In 1955, she will become the first female test pilot, the first woman to break the sound barrier and will set five world speed records in the 1950's and 1960's.

René Darbois born in the city of Metz in October 1923 is one of the few fighter pilots having flew both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Spitfire during WWII.
Forced to join the German Army, he choose the Luftwaffe and ends its formation in June 1944. He's temporarily assigned to the Jagdgeschwader 54 (JG54) at Maniago, at the north-east of Aviano (Italy)
The 25 July 1944 he's ordered to move with fifteen other young pilots from Maniago to Ghedi located 200 km to the west.
The formation is composed of 16 aircraft, 14 Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-6 and 2 double-seat Messerschmitt Bf 109 G-12.
During the ferry flight, René Darbois feings a technical problem and receive the instruction to leave the formation and land at Trévise very close at that time.
After having proceeded to the approach to the field of Trévise and having checked he was not anymore monitored by its wingmen, he climbs again and change its course to the south to reach the allied lines.
Being short of fuel he finally lands on the Santa Maria airfield, a USAF air base occupied by the 72nd Liaison Squadron.
Having joined the allied forces, he will ends the war flying a Spitfire V within the french squadron "GC 1/3 Corse".

The Messerschmitt Bf 109 of René Darbois and the details of the escape in the following article issued from the Nr.369 of the "Fana de l'Aviation" magazine (in French)
pdf"Le Fana Nr.369 René_Darbois"


- End of July 1949 : Both 1Wing's squadrons are fully equipped with the Meteor F4.

The 350 Squadron is the second 1Wing's squadron being operational on the Meteor.


- September 24th 1949: The 1st Fighter-Day Wing takes part to “Bulldog” exercise.

Units of the French and Belgian Air Force join American, Dutch and British aircraft in the RAF autumn manœuvres which begin on Friday 23rd and is expected to continue until the next Monday or Tuesday.
The operation is designed to give Bomber Command experience in attacking heavily defended industrial targets. For this purpose, attacks will be made on London, Portsmouth, Cardiff, Southampton and Bristol.
Thirteen squadrons of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force join the regular fighter bomber and anti-aircraft commands for the exercise.
France, Belgium and Holland provide jet fighter squadrons.
The United States Air Force is using its new B-50 heavy bombers for the first time, in addition to its B-29 Superfortresses.

Belgian Air Force is back in England for the first time since the war, and this is also the first time they are taking part in Western Union air exercise.
The 1st Fighter Wing's CO, Maj Albert Van de Velde is in command, and the contingent is drawn from 350th and 349th squadrons, ex R.A.F. Sqn, which became famous during the war.
About a third of the pilots served with the R.A.F. at that time and the remainder have all been trained in the country.


  • Picture 4909-01 : The pilots of the 1Wing under the command of Maj Albert Van de Velde are briefed by a R.A.F. Officer.
  • Picture 4909-02 : A Meteor F.4 from the 349th Squadron taking-off from Thorney Island - Hampshire airfield on the 25th of September 1949.
  • Pictures 4909-03 & 4909-04 : Just received by the 1st Fighter Wing in September 1949, the Meteor F.4 EF48 takes part to Bulldog exercise during the last days of September.
    The aircraft is not bearing any squadron markings yet, but only the Belgian serial. It is photographed by a Meteor of the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

- October 13th 1949: The Mosquito NF30 MB-9 is damaged beyond repair at Wevelgem. The air crew escapes unhurt.

- October 30th 1949 : The function of OSN (Officier Supérieur Navigant) is formalized. Maj Joseph Renier DFC becomes the first OSN of the 1st Fighter-Day Wing.

- November 25th 1949 : First fatal crash for the 10th Night Fighter Squadron. The MB-7 ND-E crashes shortly after take-off at Piétrebais.
The pilots, 1Lt Marcel Huls and his navigator Cpn Paul Remy are killed.


Auxiliary Squadron


- Decembre 1st 1949 : Formation of the Auxiliary Squadron

(3 Spitfire Mk IX and 6 Spitfire Mk XIV - Squadron Code: GV - 31 pilots - Emblem : The Winged Torch)



The insignia is initially designed by Cpn Jean Rigole, former 350 Sqn pilot, and Léon Rubin. It shows a black hand holding a golden torch, which is supported by two golden wings. A blue circle is surrounding the assembly. 

(Motto : "Nunquam Flamma Extinguitur")
(The flame never goes out)

The Auxiliary Squadron consists of a small core composed by active personnel, which is completed by reserve personnel.
The squadron represents the reserve of our fighter pilots.
The flight training is performed during the week-end, and includes all the operational missions normally assigned to an active squadron.
Some pilots also show-up during the week for the night flight training.

The first CO of the Auxiliary Squadron is Lt.Col (Res) Le Roy du Vivier. The second-in-command is an active officer : Lt Auguste Francken.

  • Picture 4912-01 : Harry "Lange" Saeys is assisted by the ground-crew before a flight with the Spitfire XIV GV-X. The hangar facing the Spitfire is the hangar C7 hosting the 349 Squadron and Auxiliary Squadron. The hangar in the background is the C3 hosting the 350 Squadron  and the 4th Squadron.
  • Picture 4912-02 to 4912-04 : Another Spitfire XIV (GV-C) belonging to the Auxiliary Squadron during start-up. Note the detail of the Aux Squadron insignia.
  • Picture 4912-05 : Spitfire XIV MV382 (SG80) - GV-T from the Auxiliary Squadron.
  • Picture 4912-06: Spitfire XIV NH863 (SG93) - GV-Q on the 01.March.1951.
  • Picture 4912-07: Detail of an aerial picture taken on the 08th of April 1950 showing the layout of hangars C7 & C3.
    On the left, the Officer’s Mess and the Chise’s farm that we note in the background of pictures 4912-05 and -06.
    Click jpgthis link to get a view of the farm today (November 2015)


4th Day Fighter Squadron


- December 1949 : Formation of a new Day Fighter Squadron : The 4th Day Fighter Squadron.  

(16 Meteor F.4 - Squadron Code : SV - Emblem : The Eagle)



The white eagle insignia initially appears with the Military Aeronautic (Aéronautique Militaire - Militair Vliegwezen) in 1935.
The emblem is adopted by the 5th and 6th Fighter Squadrons, belonging to the 3rd Group / 2nd Aeronautical Regiment. This group is initially equipped with Fairey "Fox".
Many metal as well as textile badges are immediately produced, some to be fitted on the jacket, and some for the flight suits.
In both cases, a white eagle on guard, ready to fall down on its prey is standing on a red or blue circle, depending on the squadron served ; the 5th or 6th Fighter Squadron.
The motto : "Quaerens Quem Devoret" (Looking for its prey) is written in black in the lower portion of the circle.
By the end of 1949, the emblem of the former 6th Squadron, the white eagle in the red circle, is allocated to the 4th Squadron.

The first Commanding Officer (CO) of the 4th Squadron is Cpn Jean Mascaux.
He takes the command of the squadron on the 20th of December 1949.

The squadron initially shares the C3 hangar with the 350 Sqn. The 350th Squadron uses the ramp facing the runways, while the 4th Squadron use the ramp at the back.
By the end of 1949, the 4th Squadron receives its first Meteor F.4, the additional twelve will be delivered in the early months of 1950.


- December 1949: The 1st Fighter-Day Wing is hosting now five squadrons.

  • 3 Fighter Day Squadrons. (349Sqn - 350Sqn - 4thSqn)
  • 1 Night Fighter Squadron. (10 Sqn)
  • 1 Auxiliary Squadron.


- December 1949: The initial order of 48 Meteors F.4 very quickly appears to be inadequate to align 16 serviceable aircraft per squadron.

An additional order of 23 Meteors F.8 is placed with Gloster Aircraft Company to re-equip one of the two Day-Fighter Squadron.
The order is filled with ex-R.A.F. machines and serials of this batch run from EG-201 to EG-223.
An inter-squadron competition including tests of navigation, shooting and formation will be organized by the Operation Group in 1950 which will result in the victory of the 350 Squadron.
The "350" will be the first squadron of the Wing to received the new fighter aircraft which has been choosen by the Belgian Air Force to equip each of its day fighter squadrons.
As reward, the 350 Sqn  will be the first squadron to receive the new fighter, 349th and 4th squadrons  will continue to operate the Meteor F.4 till February and April 1953 respectively.

A order of 240 Meteor F.8 is filled with Gloster, 150 of them will be assembled at Amsterdam by Fokker having a licence agreement with Gloster since April 1949.
The remaining 67 will be assembled at Gosselies by Avion Fairey.

  • Picture 491231-01 : A Meteor F4 (EF15) from the 349 Sqn and a Meteor F4 (SV-?) from 4Sqn in heavy maintenance in the early fifties.


- December 1949 : The 1st Fighter-Day Wing flew a complete year on jet fighter aircraft.

The total flight time at the end of 1949 is 1588 flight hours on Meteor F.4 and 110 hours on Meteor T.7.
On the night fighter side, the Mosquitoes of the 10th Squadron flew a total of 1120 flight hours.



Next : 1st Wing : 1950 - 1955  



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