Military Airport Chièvres

In 1939 the Belgian government decided to built a military airbase near Chièvres. The preparatory work starting at the end of the same year. It was already a small German airfield during the First World War.

After the German invasion of Belgium on May 10 1940, the Germans occupied the area on May 19 1940 and install the JG 26; that will remain until early June. In June 1940 started the construction of the buildings of the German airbase.

On 27 September 1940, Fiat's BR20 of the 43ste bomber squad and Cannot Z 1007B of the 172ste scout group established in the base. These units will remain there until 15 April 1944. Afterwards welcomes the various squadrons of German bombers, which flew in a wide variety of types: Just 88, Ju 188 (I / KG 6), He Ju 111 and 86.

In August and September 1944 the III / JG 26 enters the base. In late August, Chièvres will be the first Belgian base with jet planes (Arado 234 and Me 262) on the runway. On 1 September 1944 all aircraft left the airport and all military installations were blown up. On 3 September the Allies occupy the base.

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  • Text: Pascal Blijkers
  • Photos: Pascal Blijkers