Free Belgian Forces: Air Force
The initial Belgian fliers with the Royal Air Force were individual members of British squadrons. Belgium contributed 29 pilots to Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. Although usually randomly posted to various RAF fighter squadrons, No. 609 Squadron had enough Belgian pilots to form a flight. Later, some of the Belgian pilots were organized into two all-Belgian squadrons, the No. 350 (Belgian) Squadron (formed November 1941) and No. 349 (Belgian) Squadron (formed November 1942). By June 1943, some 400 Belgian pilots were serving with the RAF. Initially part of the air defense of Great Britain, both squadrons later served in the campaign in northwestern Europe supporting 21st Army Group with No. 83 and No. 84 Groups of the R.A.F. The British air raid on Gestapo headquarters in Copenhagen on March 22, 1945 was led by a Belgian Wing Commander, Michael Donnet. Altogether, some 1,200 Belgians served in the R.A.F. The Belgian Squadrons flew Spitfires operationally with the RAF. No. 350 Squadron claimed some 51 kills during its existence.
Read more about this topic: Free Belgian Forces
Famous quotes containing the words free, belgian, air and/or force:
“The family is the test of freedom; because the family is the only thing that the free man makes for himself and by himself.”
—Gilbert Keith Chesterton (18741936)
“This fat pistache of Belgian grapes exceeds
The total gala of auburn aureoles.
Cochon! Master, the grapes are here and now.”
—Wallace Stevens (18791955)
“I wonder whether mankind could not get along without all these names, which keep increasing every day, and hour, and moment; till at the last the very air will be full of them; and even in a great plain, men will be breathing each others breath, owing to the vast multitude of words they use, that consume all the air, just as lamp-burners do gas.”
—Herman Melville (18191891)
“If we wish to know the force of human genius, we should read Shakespeare. If we wish to see the insignificance of human learning, we may study his commentators.”
—William Hazlitt (17781830)