"Wings Parade" at Beauvechain airbase


  On Friday June 11th 2010 Beauvechain airbase witnessed what could be called a "Wings Parade" as in the good old days. No less than 10 new pilots have received their "Wings" during a ceremony blessed with exceptional good weather. The outgoing Minister of Defence Pieter De Crem (CD&V) as well as Lieutenant General Gérard Van Caelenberghe, chief of operations and Major General Claude Van De Voorde, Air Component Commander handed over the wings and licences to the new pilots. One young pilot had to exceptional chance of being winged by his father, Lt. Col Lepez as the tradition wants. Of the ten graduates eight will continue their training to become fighter pilots at Cazaux airbase in South Western France while two of the pilots have concluded the specialised helicopter training at Dax (F.)

Wings Parrade 11/06/2010

Ten new pilots awaiting to receive their "Wings".

The following pilots will continue their training to become jet fighter pilots:

Adjudant aviator Nicolas BOUESSE, Lieutenant aviator Karl CRAPS, Lieutenant aviator Tanguy FIVE, Lieutenant aviator David HAID, Adjudant aviator Jeroen LEPEZ, Lieutenant aviator Julien PELLETIER, Adjudant aviator Antoine SIX and Adjudant aviator Jimmy VAN OOST. 

New helicopter pilots:

Lieutenant aviator Niels BOCKX and Lieutenant aviator Ken DE FEU

 

Wings Parrade 11/06/2010

Minister of Defence Pieter De Crem pins up the wings of Adjudant aviator Nicolas Bouëssé.

Wings Parrade 11/06/2010

The tradional group picture with Minsiter of Defence De Crem and Lt General Van Caelenberghe, chief of operations

 

 

As tradition wants this new promotion has chosen a godfather to symbolise the right spirit and drive that will keep them united for the rest of their career. The godfather became Lieutenant General Aviator Armand Crekillie.

Lieutenant General Aviator Armand Crekillie

Armand Crekillie posing in front of a N° 609 Hawker Typhoon during Word War II

 

Born at Oostende on October 25th 1921, Armand "Crick" Crekillie volunteered with the Belgian Armed Forces in Great Britain on 26 February 1941 and was integrated in the Belgian section of the Royal Air Force at Tenby. He earned his pilots' wings after training in the United Kingdom and Canada and became Pilot Officer in 1943 and Flying Officer in 1944.
In August 1944, Armand Crekillie was integrated in N° 609 auxiliary Squadron and took part in 98 war combat missions flying the powerful Hawker Typhoon over the Belgian Ardennes, Germany and Holland.
His excellent performance during this period, gained him the "Croix de guerre 1940 avec palmes". In ç( fmyinh hours he destroyed 10 barges, 3 tanks, " locomotives and numerous trucks and cars.
In October 1945, he moved to N° 349 Squadron of the 160th Wing integrating with his squadron into the 1st Wing in 1948. Between May 1948 and October 1949, Captain Crekillie was detached to one of the Mosquito NF.30 night fighter squadrons based at Beauvechain and later on became Mosquito instructor at the fighter school of Koksijde.
After a period at the Belgian Air Force headquarters, he became chief of the 2nd Wing flying group and between 1958 and 1960 he was the base commander of the 2nd Wing at Florennes.
Later on he went back to the headquarters as director missiles.  Appointed Colonel in 1964, he became Chief of TAF (Tactical Air Force) headquarters and in 1968 second in command of the Belgian Air Force.
In 1969 he became Major General and was appointed head of the Tactical Air Force in 1971.

On March 15th, 1972 Armand Crekillie was promoted Lieutenant General and appointed as chief of General Headquarters. He retired from the military in 1979

 Armand Crekillie deceased at Oostende on October 11th, 2006.

Wings Parrade 11/06/2010

The new promotion of pilots was congratulated by retired Commandant Guy Crikillie, son of the godfather and former F-104G and F-16 pilot with N° 350 Squadron.

Wings Parrade 11/06/2010

Large canopy Siai Marchetti ST-34 in the static display during the Wings Parade 2010.

 

 

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 © Daniel Brackx (June 2010)

 

 

Last updated 22/09/10 10:59   Daniel Brackx

daniel.brackx@telenet.be