Force Publique - Aviation

Aviation

Prior to independence, the air component of the Force Publique (Avi / or Avimil, Aviation militaire de la Force publique) was based mainly at the N'Dolo airport, Leopoldville. Avimil's roles included the transportion of passengers, medical supplies and other goods, as well as undertaking connecting flights and recognition duties. Between 1944 and 1960 the following unarmed aircraft and helicopters were used by Avimil:

  • Stampe Vertongen SV 7-4B (V-40 to 46),
  • Airspeed Oxford Mk.I AS.10 6 (A-21 to 26)
  • Airspeed Consul AS.65 6 (C-31 to 36),
  • 12 De Havilland DH.104 Dove (D-10 to 22)
  • 1 De Havilland DH.114 Heron 2 (OO-CGG),
  • 2 Sikorsky H-19D (S-41 & 42),
  • Two Sikorsky S-55 (S-43 & 44),
  • 3 Sud Aviation Alouette II SE.3130 (Artouste) (A-51 to 53)
  • 3 Piper L-18C Super Cub (P-61 to 63) (loan from the Light Aviation of the Army Belgian Army).

At independence on 30 June 1960, Avimil was placed under the control of the new government of the Republic of the Congo, and continued its missions until 20 July 1960. On this date the chief of Belgian forces in the Congo ordered the assembly of non-Congolese personnel and operational aircraft ('des appareils en ├ętat de vol') at the Belgian base at Kamina. On 23 August they were transferred to Elizabethville, and on 26 August officially turned over to the sessionist State of Katanga.

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