The Belgian Air Force during WW1

Hanriot HD1
A Belgian Air Force Hanriot HD1
A Belgian Air Force SPAD S-VII

Two Top Belgian Aces of World War One

Willy Coppens  Andre Emile Alfons de Meulemeester
Willy Coppens (left) Andre de Meulemeester (right)

The Great War Comes To Belgium

Belgium was on the frontline of the Great War from the first to the last day of conflict. Many of the newest innovations in aerial combat were used first in Belgium among them were strategic bombing, the staging area for the first Zeppelins raids on London . Since it was a hotly contested region, aces of both sides were based and flew over the country of Belgium.

The war started on August 3, 1914 and on the 4th Farmans of the Belgian Air service were involved in air reconnaissance over the German and Dutch border to detect the invading Germans troops. Civil aviators who enlisted with their own machines supplemented the four original squadrons of the Belgian Air Arm. A fifth squadron was so created with a mix of Deperdussin monocoques, Blériot XI’s and a Morane H. Amongst the volunteers who joined the Army Air component there were many pre-war celebrities as Crombez, Tyck, Olieslagers with his brothers and De Caters.