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Archive Report: Allied Forces
1914 - 1918

Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Jan Olieslagers

Jan Olieslagers: The Antwerp Devil

Olieslagers was the first man to achieve a speed of 100 km/h on a motorcycle. Olieslagers' fascination with racing motorcycles led to a world championship in 1902. As his interest shifted to aircraft, he purchased a plane in 1909 and within four years, he'd set seven world records.

When the Germans invaded Belgium, he and his two brothers joined the army and donated their three Blériot XI monoplanes to the war effort. In his first aerial combat, Olieslagers attacked an enemy aircraft armed only with a pistol. Throughout the war, he seldom bothered to claim the enemy aircraft he destroyed. Despite a modest score of six confirmed victories, Olieslagers flew 491 sorties and engaged in 97 dogfights. Returning to Antwerp at the end of the war, Olieslagers was responsible for the development of the Antwerp Airport in 1923.

In his first combat, Olieslagers attacked an enemy aircraft armed only with a pistol. Throughout the war, he rarely claim the enemy aircraft he destroyed. Despite his six confirmed victories, Olieslagers flew 491 sorties and had engaged in 97 dogfights. Returning to Antwerp at the end of the war, Olieslagers was responsible for the development of the Antwerp Airport in 1923.

Victories:

DateTimeUnitAircraftOpponentLocation
112 Sep 191510112meNieuport 10Aviatik C (FTL)Oudstuyvekenskerke
217 Jun 191615151èreNieuport 11Fokker D.II (DES)Pypegaele
314 Jun 191718001èreNieuportC (DES)Schoore
415 Jun 191711151èreNieuportFokker D.II (DES)Keyem
503 May 191817509meHanriotFokker D.VII (DES)Westende
619 May 191817409meHanriotAlbatros D.V (DES)Woumen

SY 4 Mar 2016

Acknowledgements: Sources used by us in compiling WW1 material include: Dunnigan, James F. (2003). How to Make War: A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare in the Twenty-first Century. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-060090-12-8.Durkota, Allen; Darcey, Thomas; Kulikov, Victor (1995). The Imperial Russian Air Service: Famous Pilots and Aircraft of World War I. Mountain View: Flying Machines Press. ISBN 978-0-060090-12-8.Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank W.; Guest, Russell (1993). Above the Lines: The Aces and Fighter Units of the German Air Service, Naval Air Service and Flanders Marine Corps, 1914–1918. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-73-1.Franks, Norman (2005). Sopwith Pup Aces of World War I. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-841768-86-1.Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell; Alegi, Gregory (1997). Above the War Fronts: The British Two-seater Bomber Pilot and Observer Aces, the British Two-seater Fighter Observer Aces, and the Belgian, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Russian Fighter Aces, 1914–1918. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-56-5.Franks, Norman; Bailey, Frank W. (1992). Over the Front: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the United States and French Air Services, 1914–1918. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-54-0.Guttman, Jon (2009). Pusher Aces of World War 1. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-846034-17-6.Guttman, Jon (2001). Spad VII Aces of World War I: Volume 39 of Aircraft of the Aces. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-841762-22-7.Kulikov, Victor (2013). Russian Aces of World War 1: Aircraft of the Aces. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-780960-61-6.Newton, Dennis (1996). Australian Air Aces: Australian Fighter Pilots in Combat. Motorbooks International. ISBN 978-1-875671-25-0.Pieters, Walter M. (1998). Above Flanders Fields: A Complete Record of the Belgian Fighter Pilots and Their Units During the Great War. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-83-1.Shores, Christopher (2001). British and Empire Aces of World War I. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84176-377-4.Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell (1990). Above the Trenches: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces 1915–1920. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-0-948817-19-9.Shores, Christopher; Franks, Norman; Guest, Russell (1996). Above the Trenches Supplement: A Complete Record of the Fighter Aces and Units of the British Empire Air Forces. Oxford: Grub Street. ISBN 978-1-898697-39-8., Aircrew Remembered Databases and our own archives. We are grateful for the support and encouragement of UK Imperial War Museum, Australian War Memorial, Australian National Archives, UK National Archives and Fold3 and countless dedicated friends and researchers across the world.
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