Chièvres, the beginning of the 10th Wing

 

 

Late 1951, three squadrons are established to form a new Wing at a later date. The 23rd Squadron is established September 1st at Chièvres, the 27th Squadron September 1st at Florennes and the 31st Squadron October 1st at Beauvechain. The first days the squadrons consists of a few pilots and technicians, depending strongly on equipment owned by the units of their temporary homebase. September 20th, the 10th Fighter Wing Detachment is established at Chièvres. The squadrons receive their first aircraft and their own squadron codes:

Z6 for the 23rd Squadron
RA for the 27th Squadron
8S for the 31st Squadron

The squadrons are equipped with Spitfire XIV in different configurations and make their first flights January 1952. The last ‘Spit’ hours are flown July 1952. The last of the Spitfire XIV is decommissioned in November 1952.
Medio 1952 the 27th Squadron starts conversion to F-84E Thunderjet, followed by the 23rd Squadron during the following winter. Because of a lack of aircraft the 31st Squadron is not converted and remains only as an administrative unit.

 

Chièvres, 1952. A Spitfire XIV of each of the three squadrons of the 10th Fighter Wing Detachment:
The SG-123/Z6-A of the 23rd, the SG-122/RA-A of the 27th
and the SG-?/8S-B of the 31st Squadron.

 

A disconnected throttle cable of the SG-132/8S-G forced Capt. Van Molkot to perform
an emergency landing at Ottignies April 8,1952.

 

The SG-103/8S-E during the Melsbroek Airshow of July 13, 1952.
This is the last public demonstration of a Spitfire of the Belgian Air Force.
The aircraft is piloted by Tony de Maere d’Aertrycke.

 

Starting a Spitfire XIV of the 27th Squadron

 

The 27th ‘Black Panthers’ Squadron in front of a F-84G early 1952 at Chièvres from left to right:
Standing: Blanchy, Giddelo, Abts, Wellekens, Theuwen, Reeckmans, Boone, Vanoppen, Henry, Grégoire, Lanbermont, Renard, Souvenir, Flecijn, Osaer.
Kneeling: De Buyser, Haelterman, Maus, Florin, Verstraete Y, Delbecq, Van Der Biest, Vingerhoets, Homblé, Seghers, Van Reempts.

 

A formation brand new F-84E Thunderjets somewhere over Belgium, still wearing their American serial numbers.