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Baron Jean de Selys Longchamps: a Brave Pilot Remembered, 16th August, 2013

CHOD General Van Caelenberge and Colonel David McDine DL  representing the Lord-Lieutenant

CHOD General Van Caelenberge and Colonel David McDine DL representing the Lord-Lieutenant (c) www.wingsofmemory.be

On Friday 16th August 2013 Colonel David McDine OBE DL represented the Lord-Lieutenant at a commemoration Service, at Minster in Thanet, for Baron Jean de Selys Longchamps on the 70th anniversary of his death.

He was the pilot who single-handedly attacked the Gestapo Headquarters in Brussels for which he was reprimanded for disobeying orders – and promptly awarded the DFC !

Drawing of the raid on the Gestapo headquarter in Brussels

Drawing of the raid on the Gestapo headquarters in Brussels (c) www.wingsofmemory.be

The event was organised by the Parish Council, the RBL and ATC, plus representatives from the de Selys Longchamps family, the Belgian Defence Air Component, RAF Manston and the squadrons associated with the Baron. Many wreaths were laid at the ceremony. There was a flypast by an RAF Typhoon and also two Belgian F16s.

At the reception afterwards Col McDine was presented with a picture montage depicting the Baron’s exploits which he was asked to pass  on to the Lord-Lieutenant. Accepting it, Col McDine took the opportunity, on the Lord-Lieutenant’s  behalf, to congratulate everyone concerned with organising the event and said we had not only commemorated a brave man but had also again sealed the friendly ties between Belgium and the UK.  He was thanked by members of the Baron’s family and the Belgian General.

For a full biography of Baron Jean de Selys Longchamps and more pictures of the event see: www.wingsofmemory.be/Engels/JdSL.html

 Belgian pilots of 609 Squadron at Duxford

Belgian pilots of 609 Squadron at Duxford (c) www.wingsofmemory.be

 

 

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