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Olieslagers, Jan

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Jan Olieslagers
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04.05.1883 Antwerp
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23.03.1942 Antwerp
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motorcycle and aviation pioneer
fighter ace (6 wins)
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[my blog:aaaaaa][/my blog:aaaaaa]
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Jan Olieslagers
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18.03.1915 poručík
30.06.1917 nadporučík
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Řád Leopolda 5. třída
Order of Leopold 5th Class
Ordre de Leopold Chevalier


Řád Sv. Stanislava 3. třída s meči a mašlí
Order of St Stanislaus 3rd Class with Swords and Bow
Орден Святого Станислава 3-я степень с мечами


Řád Čestné legie 5. třída
Order of Legion of Honour 5th Class
Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur Chevalier


Válečný kříž
War Cross
Croix de Guerre


Řád Leopolda II - rytíř
Order of Leopold II - Knight
Ordre de Léopold II - Chevalier


Válečný kříž
Croix de Guerre

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Jan Olieslagers, Antverpský demon[/heading:aaaaaa]


He was born 4. may 1883 in Antwerp as the second son in a family with three brothers and two sisters. In school he excelled in all subjects, which had to do with math. Unfortunately, his childhood took soon lost. When he was 11 years old, his father died and little John had to assume the obligations of the breadwinner of the family. He found work at the shipyard with a salary of 10 cents an hour. In the evening and on Sundays was moonlighting at the store with the bikes. Here on the sly he taught to ride a bike. When it caught its head, one round dedicated to him.

Soon he began to ride the bicycle races, and in this environment was then only a short step to get acquainted with another hot technical novelty – motorcycle. Became zaměstanancem firm Minerva, which produced the bikes, and since 1900 also motorcycles. Olieslagers became a member of the Antwerp motoklubu and won the gold medal at the first Dutch championships in racing motorcycles. A year later set a world speed record of 80 km/h. Just at that time earned the nickname "Antverpský demon". The inscription "Le Demon" will indeed later dress up the bonnet the engines of his aircraft...

Antverpský demon on a motorcycle

Additional fame acquired in the year 1904 when, against the will of the director of the company Minerva participated in the France of car racing Paris-Bordeaux-Paris. This race won and won not only international recognition and a gold medal, but ironically also fined by French police for driving without a license. In Belgium, however, still no driving license simply did not exist. Jan continued his sporting achievements. Collected trophies and also financial premiums that come with them are related. Soon he was a rich man.


During one of his trips for the races in France, Olieslagers acquainted with Louis Blériotem and immediately got excited for flying. He bought a Blériota his aircraft type the Blériot XI and started in his school to learn to fly. 31. march 1910 then earned a pilot license from the Belgian aero club no. 5.

Soon it became very famous. Circled the entire range of air days and races in Spain, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany. In Bologna he won a prize of 10,000 lire. In July 1910 during an air race in Reims, set a new svétový record in flight duration in closed circuit (7. 7. 1910 – 255 km), that three days later he twice improved (392 km and 625 km). He also created a new world record in achieved height (1524 m). It seemed that the "Antverpský demon" doesn't afraid of anything.

Olieslagers in Reims

When on one of the air days see Adolph Pégouda show off lopink (Pégoud him showing off as the first person in the world), it immediately decided to start also perform. It was first demonstrated (now three in a row) at the air show in Paris 18. December 1913. Needless to say, that then most of the other pilots considered it mortally dangerous element. It is interesting that among the audience was also first lord of the british admiralty Winston Churchill.

Name Olieslagers will soon happen in the aviation world, the term. Jan built a business in which engaged, also his brothers, Max, Jules and Albert. Max also flew in 1911 received pilot's belgian license no. 40. However, he was not so gifted as Jan – July 1911, no air show in Leewardenu crashed, hurt himself and was wounded also several viewers. The pioneer period of the conquest of the air, however, suddenly přervalo the outbreak of the 1. world war.

Squadron jednoplošníků

At the end of July 1914 the world was moving by leaps and bounds to the hitherto most destructive disaster that mankind in the meantime has experienced. The war between France and Germany was imminent. The French border with Germany, however, were protected by a system of fortresses, and so the Germans had for this case the so-called Schlieffen plan – a large-scale pincer movement, in which the column of their divisions have passed through belgian territory.

The evening of 2. August 1914 was the belgian government delivered the German ultimatum, demanding free passage of their troops to Belgium. The belgian government, however, the violation of their neutrality, refused. The German response was not long in coming – in the morning 5. August 1914 has been invaded by German troops in Belgium.

The belgian army, although she couldn't with the German war mašinériií equal, fearlessly stood up in brave resistance. Brothers Olieslagersové couldn't stand outside. Just before the outbreak of the war Jan sent to the baron de Broqueville, the belgian minister of war, a telegram, in which he gives "available to his king and his country all of his aircraft, personnel and vehicles."

As did other belgian aviatici. The belgian air force at that time possessed four squadrons (each with 4 machine) aeroplane Henri Farman HF.20 and HF.23bis. The fifth unit was a volunteer "Squadron jednoplošníků" (Escadrille de Monoplanes), which accounted for one de Brouckére-Depperdussin (pilot Henri Crombez), one Morane-Saulnier H (pilot count Joseph dHespel) and a total of three Blérioty XI; two owned by brothers Olieslagersové and one Jules Tyck, another belgian pre-war aviatik and John's best friend.

The squadron was officially formed to 12. 8. 1914 at the airport Wilrijk, a commander was appointed Crombez. Jan was appointed to the rank of corporal, but in the air probably started out even before the official provisions of the squadron.

The newspaper "Gazet van Antwerpen" brought the news that on 10. August Olieslagers duelled with German aircraft, the type of Taub. A German machine flew over the city of Leuven. Jan Olieslagers at him unsuccessfully attacked with an elevation armed only with pistols Browning. This story refutes the often repeated myth about how the prewar aviatici originally didn't even want to fight.

At that time the belgian air force has lost 6 of his initially 16 Farmanů, especially because of accidents, but there is also growing cases of attacks by aircraft own jendotkami. Pawns in the types of aircraft familiar with, because it came on the 6th. August, a regulation of the paint on the wing of the aircraft of the belgian cockade...

In this situation, is to survey the need for each plane. Now early in the morning on the day of its formation, carried out the squadron's first combat years. Into the air, raised the Tyckův Blériot, accompanied by dHespelovým Moran. Years lasted from 7.15 to 9.45 pm, both pilots were accompanied by an army Farman HF. 20 with a crew of military "professionals" who have had their civil colleagues "train". Olieslagers on the same day executed a courier years.

The next day, however, the problems begin. Tyck start, but have to return due to a technical malfunction. His aircraft is withdrawn from service. Fortunately, the already 20. August is coming reinforcements in the form of two French Blériotů XI-2. The belgian crew was highly skeptical towards the news from the civilian pilots who were not trained to observe military units from the air. In the new two-seater Blériotech now civilian pilot complement a professional soldier as an observer.

At that time the belgian troops retreated to the walled turf to Antverpám and German troops 20. 8. came to Brussels and headed to Namur, the last fortress defending the passage to France along the river Maasy. The belgian army, no matter how small, fight hard and doggedly. Namur on yourself tied 6 German divisions and 500 guns; these forces the Germans severely lacked in the battles of Charleroi and Mons.

Jan by 21. 8. the first flight unit in the new two-seater Blériotu with lieutenant Louis Stellingwerffem as an observer, but because of the thick fog didn't bring any information. Two days later, however, the same crew carried out a successful survey in the area of Dendermonde - Merchtem - Leuven and Diest, which has confirmed the absence of German troops in this area.

This information has been instrumental to the successful sortie, which the Belgians have made 24. August force of 6 divisions against the rearguard of the German right wing; this was to relieve pressure on the british and the French the left wing of the fighting at Mons. The following day the attack was interrupted and the belgian army withdrew to the coast. The germans began to besiege Antwerp, left here, however, only the locking force, while the main clusters of their divisions still went into the heart of France. The belgians, in an effort to help his French allies, have launched a new swipe 9. September 1914, in the key day of the battle of the Marne. The germans, fearing that the Belgians nepřeťali their supply lines, they decided to launch a general attack on Antwerp and started here concentrate forces.

At that time, have suffered the belgian air force significant losses on the aircraft; however, this time the fault not of the military operations, but because of strong gale that swept across the belgian airport and damaged the parked aircraft. Maybe it was one of the reasons why she was now Squadron jednoplošníků deployed to the guidance batteries of heavy artillery.

From 27. September launching the Germans attack on Antwerp. The same day, Olieslagers with lieutenant Collignonem as an observer, and accompanied by two Farmanů want to attack on a German observation balloon, but comes back empty-handed. The weather is bad, pilots still take off for reconnaissance, because they know that there comes a critical moment of the battle. During one such flight in a gale crashed Tyck with the observer Collignonem and broke one Blériot XI-2. Olieslagers is constantly in the air and reports of German units attacking at Antwerp.

The following day in Antwerp, landing units of the british marine corps, to help with defence, while the two british infantry division landed at Ostend and Zeebrugge, to attacked the German obléhatele from the outside. Unfortunately for the Belgians, this help comes too late – the predominance of the Germans is too big and the belgian government 3. October 1914 decided on the evacuation of Antwerp. Olieslagers continues in the exploratory years for the cover of the unit, the last such years shall undergo 6. 10. 1914. Then, with the squadron moving to Dunkerque.

In that period, the belgian army was preparing to leave Antwerp. The retreat began to take place in the night from 8. to 9. October. The belgian troops to withdraw and take position along the river Yser. In mid-October here, then, the Germans launched a new offensive, which was part of an extensive obkličovacího maneuver, which the German division wanted to outflank the allied left wing. The belgians desperately defended until the end of October, however, felt that no longer the pressure of the German superior force they cannot resist. Therefore they decided to flood the territory north of the river Yser, and by the German attack to stop. The germans now concentrated the main offensive effort to the south, where the town of Ypres resisted the British. You frantically reflect the attack behind the attack. Their forces are weak and so the commander of the 1. the british expeditionary force, general Sir Douglas Haig very deftly shifting their units from one of the exposed section to the other.

Information to the survey now have the price of gold. Squadron jednoplošníků, however, has problems, no spare parts and also the operating range of the old Blériotů now is not sufficient. 18. October, therefore, command of the belgian air force decided to monoplanes to move to the backup and continues to lead the survey only more powerful Farmany. Unfortunately, the supply of more modern equipment from the French yet stick, so continue to Blérioty must perform combat tasks and a pair of Olieslagers and Stellingwerf is once again in the air. At that time is Olieslagers promoted to sergeant.

The british finally in mid-November to definitively prove against the German superior forces to defend your station and the first battle of Ypres ends. Now both sides need to relax and wait out the winter. Air operations due to poor weather stagnate. Olieslagers was for their performance 27. 11. 2014 the belgian king Albert I. appointed a knight of the Leopold order, and as the first member of the belgian army, who was not an officer.


With the advent of spring once again begin to air operations, the gain on the intensity. Also Jan Olieslagers returning to the air, but already have 2. in march 1915 he broke his Blériot in the crash and spent 20 days in the hospital, where he was to 18. march announced his promotion to lieutenant. It was about the last combat flight of the aeroplane type Blériot XI in the belgian air force.

27. in march, however, again starts (apparently on the Farmanu) with observer lieutenant Louis Robin perform the tasks of the photographic survey, in front of Dixmude, where it was expected the next German attack. It was one of the first photographic missions of the belgian air force. Shortly after this event, however, the unit was jednoplošníků withdrawn from the queue, the remaining Blérioty XI-2 were transferred to flying schools to train recruits. His air force career on them will start, for example, and future of the most successful belgian ace Willi Coppens...

The air staff was transferred to the retraining of the machine, Maurice Farman, and later assigned to squadrons armed with this type of aircraft. So Olieslagers and Tyck find themselves in 2. escadrille. Olieslagers, however, yearn for something different. He wants to fight with enemy planes. Is delighted when the Frenchman Roland Garros will construct the first fighter in the world and 1. April 1915 to her reach as the first fighter pilot of the kill. Olieslagers wants a similar machine, but something like that is not yet in sight.

Very often appears the claim that the prewar aviatici in fact they didn't want to fight, that is aerial fight came when the pilots trained by the military. Unfortunately for this argument, I can't find no foothold; on the contrary, a whole series of pre-war pilots crash not only want to actively fight, but also directly participated in the development of aviation technology, which was supposed to air combat allow.

Olieslagers was himself one of them. Even at the time when he flew to Blériotu, trying to get his machine to equip a machine gun, which dominated his observer. Unfortunately, the performance of the Blériotu XI did not allow this additional burden to bear. Olieslagers finally, they must wait until 17. June, when the squadron gets two-seater Nieuport 10. The machine is armed with a machine gun Lewis located on the pivot pin above the upper wing. The gun dominated the shooter sitting in the front cabin – when he wanted to open fire, he had to break away, stand up and lean brisket in a semicircular cutout in the wing. In this position was pretty stable and well withstand air resistance, could not, however, be no krkolomnému maneuver, then he threatened to fall into the depth. Moreover, had the shooter and carefully shoot not to damage the propeller of the aeroplane.

Prototype Nieuport 10, for which a crew demonstrates the possibility of using an offensive loadout. In this case, it is used rifle with belgian machines, however, the planes were normally equipped with a machine gun

These Nieuport gradually received all the belgian squadron, usually after one piece. In July 1915, was a growing belgian air force a total of six squadrons (four operated machine, Maurice Farman, one flew Voisinech and one on the Caudronech). Between 1.,2. and 4. flight (all flying on Farmanech) were divided all the four Nieuport, which the belgian air force from the French received. The task of these machines have been especially the accompanying years ago to protect the slow and lumbering Farmanů. Piles Nieuportů were generally identified with the best aviators, in addition, those who showed sufficient fighting spirit.

Their opponents in that time were in particular the German two-seater machines, C series, armed with a machine gun of the observer on the associated circle. During the summer of 1915, also began to appear the first German fighter type of Fokker E.I, armed with a synchronized machine gun. These machine guns were being being armed with even the German two-seater machines. The struggle in the air began to be for the allied airmen still harder...

Jan's desire to fight it, however, have done nothing to diminish. The same passion with him but do not share his archers, which cannot be due to the way the fight amazed. Olieslagers therefore decided to fly alone. Fastened the machine gun on the pin located on the starboard side of the fuselage next to the cockpit. Can fly with one hand and shoot the other, but the aim must be diagonally to the right, to did not hit the propeller. He is clear, however, that this is only a stopgap solution and still bombards the parent applications for the redevelopment of his Nieuport on the real fighter.

Superiors eventually kapitulují and Olieslagers will fly your machine directly to the factory Nieuport at Issy-les-Moulineaux. Here the aircraft was rebuilt on the single-seater and the Lewis machine gun was mounted on a rotating lafetu over the trailing edge of the upper wing. The design, however, is not yet completely finished – the pilot can only fire so that vzpaží hand and presses on the trigger directly on the gun. Shooting is only possible at an upward angle. Even so, it's of course progress.

Olieslagers along with his brother Jules on the device working after return to flight. Trying to capitalize on all of its rich technical experience. Removes bulky air cooler encircling the barrel of the Lewis gun and in flight demonstrates that the flow of air around the barrel is sufficient for its cooling. This is the gun lighter, and it also reduces air resistance. Resolves even changes in the design of the machine gun, to reduce the likelihood of snagging. It also proposes the production of double reservoirs with a higher capacity of ammunition. Company BSA producing machine guns Lewis in his proposals for adjustments to their weapons accepted.

Olieslagers also regulates lafetu machine gun to allow the gun to easily bend and facilitate the exchange of the tray. According to his proposal with a machine gun has to sit on a raised valerian, which of course means that the gun will be outside the pilot's field of view. Olieslagers, however, located a solution in the form of sight on the hood of the engine in front of the pilot. To spušťadlu gun cocked bowdenové the cable and the trigger can now be placed on the control lever.

Olieslagersem the proposed changes it accepts as firm of Nieuport, the british air force, which Jan even supplied a detailed photographic documentation. Jan Olieslagers so influenced the development of the allied fighter force, more than a lot of other aces. Weapon system new Nieuport 11, which comes to the front in the winter of 1915/16 and will be a very successful answer to the German Fokker E series, to be used in lafetaci machine gun elements just by Olieslagersova design...

So far, however, the effort does not bear fruit. Olieslagers spend long hours waiting for the right opportunity, whether you're sitting in the vicinity of your aircraft or in the air during the endless patrols. In the summer of 1915 is still over the front does not move too many aircraft and air engagements are so rare. The performances of the aircraft are not yet so bad that sometimes you just need a strong headwind to the fighters stop to catch up your opponent.

Day 6. September 1915 Oliseslagers finally, surprised two German flying apparatuses over the lake Blanckaert, but the ones he leaked. Ultimately, however, only comes success. 12. September he was doing to shoot down a Aviatik C near Oudstuyvekenskerke. The numbers of aircraft they start to grow and skirmishes in the air multiply. A month after the first wave, more precisely the 13. October, had to change the close calls himself Olieslagers, when he returned to the airport there, back windows shot the plane after a fight over the forest of Houthulst.

Jan complains that the performances of the Nieuport 10 are weak and he wants a more powerful machine. The French, however, have nothing to do, to meet the demand of its own air force. Belgians must wait.

30. November Olieslagers participated in the capture of one German two-seater, which made the landing even with the lieutenant Tyckem and crew of one Farmanu. In the list of Olieslagersových victory, however, this success does not feature.

At the beginning of 1916 finally, the French finally started the deliveries of fighter aircraft Nieuport 11. This necessitated another reorganization of the belgian air force. 14. February, 1916 arose at the airport Coxyde 1. fighter squadron (1ére Escadrille de Chasse), armed with just these light fighters. The squadron, commanded by Capt. Arsène Demanet and there were concentrated the best belgian pilots, among them Jan and his friend Tyck.

It is interesting that not all pilots, however, wanted to fly Nieuportech, the exception represented e.g. captain Fernand Jacquet, who always put his Farman, because he was heavily short-sighted and gave therefore prefer flying with the shooter. The prosecution is then still in its infancy and two-seat configuration yet not seem like much of a handicap, under certain circumstances, it may be on the contrary an advantage. As proof of this, that Jacquet became the first belgian ace of the...

Fernand Jacquet and his usual shooter Louis Robin posing in front of a Farman F. 40. Jacquet was partial to a distinctive "marking death" on the bow of the gondolas of its aircraft

Belgian fighters spend most of the time the accompaniments of the observation aircraft. The sky in Flanders is significantly less exposed than on other sections of the western front. Aerial battle here is not so much and the options to achieve the kill are limited. The belgian fighters are collecting experience as you go along, none of them has nor intercept course, or a course of aerial shooting.

Jan instinctively, he showed the basic methods of air combat – he tried to attack from the elevation, and because of his opponents at that time were mainly two-seater machines, hid the first attack under the tail of the enemy machine. Its advantage have been a great deal of experience in aerobatics.

In march 1916 he participated in five fights, while in one case (apparently 30. 3.) downed plane in the woods Praat Bosch. To this kill he had witnessed, however, is not among them no officer, so this victory he was not officially recognised.

In April Olieaslagers he completed 26 sorties, but those only led to three air battles. Jan, however, experimenting and 25. 4. flying for the first time in the night, hoping that the night will be to hunt favorable, but it is not so...

In may, completed a total of 34 sorties, taking part in four fights, taking out the last you take 5 hits in his Nieuport 11 and damaged the wing.

17. June 1916 accompanies Olieslagers crew Farmanu F.40 in the composition of Roger d'Hendecourt -Charles Kervyn. On the observation Farman attacking two German aircraft and begins a frantic aerial combat. Credits Farmanu defies one of the German aircraft long 10 minutes, whereupon the German struggle pays and leaves the battlefield. Olieslagers fights so far, with the second machine and eventually he's doing it to shoot down, and this time, it is kill confirmed also officially.

In the list of Olieslagersových the victory of a downed opponent figures as Fokker D.II, but that is not possible, because aircraft of this type over the lines appeared only in August 1916. In fact it was a two-seater machine, belonging to the state training unit Flugarmeepark 4. The crew of pilot Uffz. Ernst Otto and the observer Lt. Heinz Warneken died.

At the end of June 1916 1. escadrille moved to the airport De Moeren, where he will remain until its reorganization in march 1918. The pace of air combat is still escalating: if in June Olieslagers graduated 5 fights, in July and August it's after twelve...

30. September Jan and other fighters accompany captain Jaurnotteho, another staunch partisan Farmanu F.40, on a photographing mission. When the belgian group flies over the Slype and Zevekote, Jan observes the take-off of three Fokker from the airport Ghistelles. Other Belgians with them trying to block his way, however, the situation is further complicated by the presence of a two-seater Albatross, which is coming from sea and passing under the Belgians, as if nothing had happened.

Jan escort Jaurnotteho Farman back over their own line and then turns around and begins to chase the Albatross, who, after his fire falls. Victory once again is not officially verified, but the Jan gained a wonderful souvenir – crew Farmanu gave him a beautiful photo of the Albatross, which took when it passed around their machines!

Day 9. November 1916 Jan took off to a lonely patrol. Ascends to 4,000 feet and above Diksmuide patrolling for about an hour, when it suddenly surprise a lone Fokker. Olieslagers at the last minute dodges and the cord shots it misses. Begins to maneuver air combat. Both pilots circling each other and trying to gain an advantage, machine guns rattled, even one is not trying to escape. Both are showing considerable firmness, but eventually Olieslagers shoot up all five trays to his Lewis gun. Completely defenseless withdraws from the fight and escapes into his own lines. Over his shoulder he watches as his opponent falls to the airport to the city Hanzaerne.

After returning Olieslagers tells about the duel your friends, with whom we draw up in a German challenge to a new duel. One of the pilots still on the same evening drop at Hanzaerne. The second day of waiting Jan several hours your opponent above the line of the queue, but a time of personal fight seems to be over, and his opponent fails to appear...

This experience however, it causes to further improve its weaponry. The end of the year 1916 flies to Nieuport 16, which was equipped with two machine guns Lewis mounted parallel to each other on the upper wing to a post, with whose production of John helped his brother Jules.

The year 1916 ended with the following balances: 193 sorties, which led to the 53 air battles. One confirmed kill (and the second overall) and the other nine victories, it was not possible to confirm due to the absence of witnesses.

Winter in 1916-1917 is very cold. This greatly limits air operations. It is not surprising that Olieslagers must be on the next fight wait until 7. February, 1917, when matched with two-digit LVG. The German pilot, severely injured, landing on the ice of the flooded yserské lowlands in the no man's land. Jan leaves approaching belgian soldiers, to explore his victim and himself he flies home. At the airport after returning tells his friends about his fight and plans to quest to get this "almost new" LVG as prey. The flyers already celebrating with a glass of champagne, when the soldiers of the first line of the call the incredible news - the plane has taken off! Wounded pilot says he siphoned his place of observer, that the infantry in front of his nose took off and flew away towards the German lines...

Nice story, but in fact with a tragic end. Most likely this was a machine belonging to the Fliegerabteilung FA 19. Pilot gefreiter Karl Reschke was really injured, but in fact probably landed to provide first aid to your observer, which was Leutnant Erich Ziemke. When Reschke saw the belgian infantry, he returned to his cabin and flew back to base. Unfortunately, it was his effort in vain, Erich Ziemke died the next day. Unfortunately, however, his injuries 6 days later yielded also a brave pilot Karl Reschke...

However, the war continues. The next day Olieslagers attacks alone the formation of three two-seat machines southwest of Diksmuide. One of them seems to be seriously damaged and must land in the German lines, but this victory will also not be confirmed...

Ground combat in the spring of 1917 are intense. The british attack at Arras, the French in Champagne. Air battle is also escalating. Even in the belgian sector on the Yseru, which is, of course, away from the main battlefields, the German squadron more active than ever. The belgian losses grow, but the morale is high. As a gesture of defiance, the crew in the composition of Henri Crombez - Louis Robin from the 6th. the squadron took off at dawn 4. may 1917 and has taken a bold flight over Brussels, where she lost to the belgian flag...

In early June the British launched the attack on the Messines south of Ypres. On it has build more offensive in July. The purpose of these attacks is to break through to the coast and eliminate the German submarine base. These offensives are taking place in the immediate neighbourhood of the belgian sector, so the belgian air force on them nowadays.

By mid-June the British occupy the entire silkworm gut back in the most successful offensive action of the Agreement for the entire war. Now, there are voices, that was the second part of the offensive, planned for the end of July, going forward and used the momentary shattering and prostration of the German army. The belgian king Albert. even, to get an idea of the situation at the front, did not hesitate to personally fly on 6. July 1917 over the battlefield as an observer in an aeroplane, Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter. It was, as far as is known, the only head of state who is personally engaged in air operations for 1. world war...

Other belgian pilots are, of course, can't be outdone, the fight in the air, gaining intensity. On Thursday, the 14th. June 1917 finally gets another coveted victory and Jan Olieslagers. Just a few shots to the downed observation dvousedadlovku near Minore.

The second day leads Jan a three-member patrol. Together with him flying ensign André de Meulemeester (future ace, so far he has, however, on account of his only two kills) and the young pilot right after the training, staff sergeant Carlo Verbessern. Patrol over Yserem, where they face a pair of German Fokker D.II. The group is torn apart; de Meulemeester chasing one Fokker around Schoorbake, in the end, however, the German escapes. The second, which is also trying to flee, it is pursued the other two Belgians. Olieslagers covers the "beginner" Verbesserna, and wants to give him the first kill, but it is failing to the Germans to intervene. A duel is beginning to dangerously stretch and Jan decides to close it down – burn dose of the seven wounds, the Fokker will burn like a torch and it will fall apart in the air before the first belgian lines. The two "glued" the victory of the plotted John promotion to the rank of lieutenant on 30. June 1917.

With the British so far trumps caution; general Haig finally decides to launch an offensive on Passchendaele according to plan up to 31. 7. 2017. The germans, however, had already managed to pull myself together and push the backups to come an unusually heavy rain. The offensive tone in the blood and the mud.

The belgian squadrons carried out in July an average of 120 sorties a day. Observation planes without respite watching the activity on the German railroad, monitor movements of troops and artillery. The germans also enhance the air force – the Belgians are finding in your sector of the four new German airport.

In such conditions cease to worn, the belgian Nieuport quickly comply with. The French, the Belgians offer as a refund a new Hanrioty HD.1. It was, however, a machine similar to the concept as the Nieuport. Small, lightweight, maneuverable but not very powerful engine and armament consisting only one synchronized machine gun, although the Germans already at that time commonly have on their machines, machine-guns two. The belgians, however, do not have much of a choice, and to offer a nod. Hanrioty will soon prove to be reliable, easy to use and manoeuvrable machine and pilots will love...

Olieslagersova 1. Escadrille de Chasse begins to rearm on Hanrioty in August 1917.
Jan new aircraft "baptized" 4. September, when during a patrol attacked dvousedadlovku above Oostkerke. Her shooter defends and sends a dozen shots into the engine Hanriot. In the end the German machine manages to escape, although he was also heavily damaged. Brand new Hanriot is ripe for an overhaul.

Worse still hits the crash landing after returning from patrol 4. November 1917. Jan dropped the chassis into the ditch and the prow crashed into the opposite shore. Hanriot is badly damaged and Jan falls for several days in a coma. Is transferred to the military hospital in Beverenu. The unit is coming up in January 1918.

Quickly getting into shape. During a training flight 4. February 1918 set a new belgian record in the achieved altitude 7620 meters! Here it is necessary to realize that, then the aircraft had no breathing apparatus, or the heated cabin.

In that time experiencing another reorganization. In February 1918 leads to the establishment of the "Groupe de Chasse Jacquet" (fighter group Jacquet), under the command of the fighter aces of the Fernand Jacquet. In march acquires this group of the official designation 1. fighter group. Consists of three squadrons. Olieslagersova 1. the squadron is renamed to 9. squadron, along with her group consists of 10. and 11. squadron. While the 10. squadron uses a Spad, 9. and 11. squadron is armed with Hanrioty HD. 1, with the armament of 11. the squadron complement even the british Sopwith Camely, that the Belgians have started to receive since the autumn. All three squadrons bázují at the airport of De Moeren.

Jan Olieslagers posing in front of Sopwithem Camel no Sc7. It is not known whether and how many flights on it graduated from the

Jan Olieslagers in the framework of the reorganization of gaining a new obligation. His task is to oversee the new pilots and train them before the first combat flight. It is probably a sort of compromise, because Jan several times refused to leave as an instructor in the training centres and wished to stay at the front.

Despite all the new tasks continues to Jan fly with others on watch and 3. may 1918, shooting down a brand new German fighter Fokker D.VII near Westende. It was his fifth confirmed victim, thus becoming one of the six belgian pilots, who during the war acquired the official status of the esa.

At that time, Jan made friends with a young, slightly pig-headed pilot, who begins to collect achievements. His name is Willi Coppens. The future the most successful belgian ace specializes in shooting down observation balloons. It's about the extremely dangerous task, since balloons are usually heavily defended as anti-aircraft cannons and machine guns, so their own fighters.

19. may 1918 morning Olieslagers and the other two pilots accompanied by Coppens, who is going to attack the ball near Houthulst. The attack is successful, this is already the fifth Coppensův kill and Olieslagers performed aerobatics over the belgian lines in honor of his friend, who became an ace.

In the afternoon the Germans are sending in retaliation, several fighters Albatros D.In from Jasta 16b to shoot down in return the belgian balloon. Belgian fighters immediately take off to stop them. However, before they get to the place, is the balloon actually destroyed. One of the Albatross, however, has bad luck, because it gets in the way přilétajícímu John, who promptly lit the above Woumen. The German pilot Feldwebel Andreas Triebswetter (4 kills) prefer to jump without a parachute into the void, than would be burned alive in your apparatus...

The end of the summer start Allies a general offensive. All three belgian fighter squadrons to cover the advancing ground forces and attacking the German trenches. 17. October returned an observation plane with the news that the Germans apparently have abandoned their line.

Jan immediately takes off and finds that in many villages, which yesterday were still occupied by German troops, now flying the belgian flag. When they return back to the airport, he learns that his brother Max due to a fault made an emergency landing at a German airport in Ghistelle. Jan he immediately flies to help, but the German base is abandoned and the two brothers in order returning to De Moeren. All the present pilots want to immediately also fly over the belgian territory.

The whole squadron then takes off and flies to Ostend, where they land on the beach. To the pilots cast local civilians, whose enthusiasm still rises the moment he finds out that one of their "liberators" is itself "Antverpský demon".

However, almost a disaster occurs, when the aviators noticed that the tide and the water rises to their planes. They're trying to take off, but their engines, which apparently got the fine sand of the beach, refuse to jump. The pilots have the plane push to the highest point of the beach and the weather here is a bit of a rough night in the "field conditions". The next day they are doing the engines cleaned up and back to base.

The war isn't over yet. Allied pilots are continuing in the line of duty practically up to the end of the war.

Day 9. November 1918 Olieslagers flying shelling the German infantry to Ghent. John's machine is hit by the splinters of anti-aircraft shell and Jan has to put the plane in a field near Eeklo, taking Hanriot flips, and John is slightly wounded on the head.

This is the last of john's sorties, two days later, the war ends. The total bill is more than respectable: 518 sorties (the last of john's records, no other belgian pilot as many combat flights leave!). Four years of continuous combat deployment, he served at the front from the first to the last day of the conflict, he participated in the 97 air fighting, which reached 6 confirmed kills and a further 17 unconfirmed.

His chest was decorated with many honors. It is one of the four belgian fighters decorated the Order of Leopold II., next received the belgian navy cross with palm trees, Yserskou medal, "Burning" the cross, the Medal of the voluntary combatant 1914 - 1918, Commemorative medal 1914 – 1918 and also foreign distinctions. He was appointed knight of the order of the French legion of Honor, received the French navy cross and the Russian the order of St. Stanislav.

After the war

Jan Olieslagers took to army life. He was transferred to 6. squadron, promoted to the rank of captain, but eventually comes to the conclusion that a military career offers few prospects. From 29. September 1919 was on unpaid leave, 29. December of the following year he was transferred to the backup and 1. in march 1923 he retired.

Ofieslagers in the meantime again returned to Antwerp, where he opened a garage. His life, however, still will be connected with aviation. He still has wide popularity both at home and abroad. John identifies himself with the role of the patriarch of the belgian air force. It is present on many aviation meetings. It becomes one of the founders of the antwerp airport in Deurne in 1923.

The man couldn't beat out of the four years of the war German fighters, eventually beating the cancer. Jan Olieslagers dying at the age of 59 years in his native Antwerp on 23. march 1942.

At that time, Belgium is again occupied by Germany, for the second time in this century. Although the German occupiers banned the use of the belgian state symbols, in the case of the funeral of Antwerp demon they themselves demonstrate the former enemy respect and grant the special exception; the coffin of Jan Olieslagerse is run into the grave for the tones of the national anthem covered by the belgian flag...


Christophe Cony, Yves Duwelz: Jan Olieslagers, le demon anversois, Avions N°92 and N°93,
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Table victory J. Olieslagerse

Serial čísloDatumČasMístoProtivníkPoznámka
112. 9. 191510:11StuyvekenskerkeAviatik C
-22. 9. 1915Avecapelle-Pervysedvousedadlovka
-30. 11. 191511:15FurnesAlbatros Cin the cooperation (S/Lt. Tyck, crew Adj. Kervyn de Lettenhove + S/Lt. dHendecourt)
-14. 3. 191615:30Dixmudeunidentified aircraft
-30. 3. 19169:30Près Praat Boschunidentified aircraft
217. 6. 191615:15Pypegaeledvousedadlovka
-25. 6. 191617:15NieuwcapelleLVG C
-25. 6. 191617:20DixmudeFokker
-28. 7. 191615:45HandzaemeLVG C
-30. 7. 1916after noonles d'HouthulstLVG C
-31. 7. 1916-les d'HouthulstLVG C
-3. 8. 191610:00Ghistellesunidentified aircraft
-28. 9. 191619:00GhistellesAlbatros C
-7. 2. 191712:30-13:05ClerckenLVG C
-8. 2. 191710:05-12:10St-Jacques-CapelleLVG C
314. 6. 191718:00Schooredvousedadlovka
415. 6. 191711:15KayFokker D.II
-4. 9. 19177:00-8:05WoumenAlbatros C
-1. 10. 201715:45Beersttwo seaterin cooperation (Adj. Coppens, Adj. de Meulemeester and Adj. Goossens-Bara)
-3. 5. 19189:40Eesenunidentified fighter
53. 5. 191817:50WestendeFokker D.VII
619. 5. 191817:40Près de LooAlbatros D.In the
-8. 10. 191812:00Gitstwo seaterin cooperation (Cne Gallez, Adj Kervyn de Meerenclré, Sgi Hage et Lemaire)

Source: Christophe Cony, Yves Duwelz: Jan Olieslagers, le demon anversois, Avions N°92 and N°93, [/resources:aaaaaa].
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S typem Sopwith Camel létal také známý belgický předválečný závodník, aviatik a stíhací eso Jan Olieslagers. Letoun měl na směrovce belgické evidenční číslo Sc 7, jinak nesl klasické britské kamuflážní schéma. Na horních a bočních plochách barva PC-10, překližkové panely v barvě lakované překližky, spodní plochy křídel a SOP v barvě lakovaného plátna. Na boku bílý bodlák - znak 1. perutě (1 ére Escadrille de Chasse). Na VOP také zeleno-bílé klíny, stejně jako na motorovém krytu. Na hřbetu trupu za kabinou zřejmě nápis NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSIT (Nikdo mě nebude dráždit beztrestně).

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Hanriot HD. 1, na němž měl létat u 9. letky Jan Olieslagers, slavné belgické eso. Letoun byl vyfotografován již po příměří v listopadu 1918. Stroj nese klasickou francouzskou pětibarevnou kamufláž (černá, tmavá a světlá zelená, hnědá, okrová), zelenobílé doplňky patřily 9. stíhací letce. Motiv z kýlovky se opakoval i na VOP. Občas bývá s těmito doplňky kreslen i vyklenutý hřbet trupu, nesoucí opěrku hlavy. To však nelze ani potvrdit, ani vyvrátit - lakované plátno se na fotografii velmi leskne. Směrovka byla při fotografování pootočená, takž nelze vyčíst evidenční číslo. Bílý bodlák je znak původně 1. letky, z níž v březnu 1918 vznikla 9. letka.

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