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Archive Report: 1914 - 1918
Compiled from official National Archive and Service sources, contemporary press reports, personal logbooks, diaries and correspondence, reference books, other sources, and interviews.
Andre de Meulemeester

André de Meulemeester: The Eagle of Flanders

Andre de Meulemeester dubbed 'The Eagle of Flanders' joined the Belgian Air Service on January 26, 1915 and was assigned to 1ère Escadrille de Chasse on April 8, 1917.

While flying a Nieuport 17, de Meulemeester scored six victories before his unit was re-equipped with the Hanriot HD.1. In the spring of 1918, he was joined 9me, scoring four more victories by the end of the war.

During 511 sorties, de Meulemeester engaged the enemy in aerial combat 185 times, was wounded in action twice and was attacked by British D.H.4s on two occasions.

He was awarded Order of Leopold II, Belgian and French Croix de Guerre, Silver Award of Italian Medal for Military Valor

Andre de Meulemesster

André De Meulemeester joined the Belgian Air Service in January 1915. In October 1916, he was assigned to 1ère Escadrille de Chasse as a Nieuport 17 pilot dubbed Sergeant Mystère. He had a victory claim unconfirmed on 1 February 1917, and scored his first official one on 30 April. By the time he scored his sixth and last Nieuport-borne win, on 4 November 1917, he had also accrued nine unconfirmed claims. He then changed up to a Hanriot HD.1. Using his new craft, he managed to score one more confirmed and three more unconfirmed victories before changing squadrons. On 17 March 1918, he scored the first of four confirmed and five unconfirmed victories with 9me Escadrille de Chasse. His eleventh undisputed triumph was as a balloon buster; he destroyed an observation balloon on 5 October 1918.

During the war, he had flown 511 combat sorties, engaged in 185 aerial fights, and been wounded twice.


NumberDateTimeUnitAircraftOpponent/ Location
01 Feb 191715151èreNieuportRumpler C (FTL)Lombartzyde
130 Apr 19170900 -11151èreNieuportC (DES)Leke
02 May 191707101èreNieuportC (FTL)Schoore
212 Jun 191715401èreNieuportC (DES)Vladsloo
15 Jun 191711151èreNieuportD (DES)Keyem
310 Jul 191720001èreNieuportC (DES)Ramscapelle
420 Jul 191706201èreNieuportC (DES)Yser River
23 Jul 191715501èreNieuportD (OOC)Kortewilde
05 Aug 19171600-16301èreNieuportD (OOC)S of Dixmude
521 Aug 19171èreNieuportAlbatros C (DES)Yser Front
30 Sep 191710401èreNieuportC (FTL)
01 Oct 191715451èreNieuportC (OOC)
18 Oct 191709151èreNieuportAlbatros (OOC)Tervaete
28 Oct 191715451èreNieuportD (OOC)
604 Nov 191707451èreNieuportAlbatros D.III (DES)Kloosterhoek
17 Nov 19171130-11351èreHanriot HD.1Albatros (OOC)Leke
16 Feb 191811041èreHanriot HD.1C (OOC)Pervyse
21 Feb 191808501èreHanriot HD.1C (OOC)Clercken
721 Feb 191814501èreHanriot HD.1Albatros D.V (DES) 1Dixmude
817 Mar 191811009meHanriot HD.1C (DES)Dixmude
26 Mar 191817009meHanriot HD.1Pfalz D.III (CAP)Dixmude
11 Apr 191818159meHanriot HD.1C (OOC)Schoore
903 May 191811359meHanriot HD.1C (DES)Schoorbakke
09 May 191813159meHanriot HD.1C (OOC)Fort Knocke
1017 May 191810309meHanriot HD.1C (DES)Houthulst
25 Aug 191809309meHanriot HD.1C (OOC/FTL)Houthulst
02 Oct 191818259meHanriot HD.1Halberstadt C (OOC)Beveren/Lys
1105 Oct 191807059meHanriot HD.1Balloon (DES)Thourout

Club Mystère

Until a few years before his death, De Meulemeester kept alive the comradeship with the Belgian pilots of the Great War. Regularly he invited them at his house for dinners which he offered under the name of 'Club Mystère'. Each time he invited a prominent personality as a guest of honour. They always wrote at length in his Guestbook.

Amongst the guests of honour were Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians, Belgian Prime Ministers Achiel Van Acker, Paul van Zeeland, Paul-Henri Spaak, Joseph Pholien, Jean Van Houtte, papal nuntii Fernando Cento and Efrem Forni, Cabinet Ministers Camille Gutt, Arthur Gilson, high ranking civil servants, generals, presidents of banks, etc.

In 1919, de Meulemeester left the army, gave up flying and went to work in his family's brewery business.

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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Last Modified: 05 March 2016, 17:14

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