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Old 15 May 2002, 05:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I have it difficult with Count d'Hespel.
Must be Joseph d'Hespel and seems to be killed 1918...But I cannot find him amongst the BELGIAN WWI aviators! He is not to find into the book:
"Above Flanders Fields" which goes about Belgian Fighter Pilots during WWI! I have a postcard depicting him at Brasschaet-polygone (year of shot unknown!) as Caporal with his Deperdussin....I always thought he joined just as other pre-WWI aviators, our Army Aviators section...but?
Is someone enable to bring some light into my darkness?


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Old 15 May 2002, 12:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have very little on d'Hespel. He had brevet No 15 on the 27th July 1910 as a civil pilot.

He most certainly was at Brasschaat in August 1914 and seems to have been a volunteer indeed in the 5th Escadrille. It is clear that he didn't figure on the list of military pilots at the day of outbreak of war.

Curiously I can't find him back on the list of pilots on the 1st of July 1915.
And it gets worse ! He never scored a victory in the Belgian air force, was not involved in the loss of any airplane (due to being shot down, bad landing, storm, bad start, engine trouble,...)
Can't find him back in my loss list of Belgian pilots/balloon personnel.

He just seems to have vanished into thin air !

Sorry not much I'm afraid.

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Old 16 May 2002, 02:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Found also this text concerning 1910 :

On January 25th the Brussels Exhibition opened, when the Antoinette monoplane, the Gaffaux and Hanriot monoplanes, together with the d'Hespel aeroplane, were shown; there were also the dirigible Belgica and a number of interesting aero
engines, including a German airship engine and a four-cylinder 50 horse-power Miesse, this last air-cooled by means of 22 fans driving a current of air through air jackets surrounding fluted cylinders.

Was this a plane designed by d'Hespel himself ? Any ideas ?

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Old 16 May 2002, 03:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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REGULUS thank's, I expected so e bit you would give a reply on it!
However that's just the problem!
He is not to find amongst the Belgian WWI pilots!
But Chevalier Jules de Laminne: Le Printemps de l'Aviation Belge page says Le comte d'Hespel tué en 1918...: killed on the field of honour..other names mentioned are: Cpt. Dechamps,lt.Paul Hanciau,
Commandant Demanet...all other names are related to aviator who were killed into an airplane crasch...but not into "duty"! Killed during air events or trainingflights or such!
Joseph d'Hespel : his adress was at Brussels...
(I have the "Annuaire's from the Aé.C.B. at home!)
Had license n° 15 delivered on 1910.07.27.
But where he served and where he died than 1918??? Was he perhaps serving into a FRENCH unit and as what?
That's the question!
Mysteriuous case ???

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Old 16 May 2002, 04:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Two ideas pop into my head. Could he have been at the Flying school at Etampes (or Juvisy later in the war) or have joined the French-Belgian Escadrille C74 at Hondschoote under Cdt de Bueger ?

Personally if he remained active as a pilot I would say flying school. Knowing the Belgian mentality at the time, I don't think they wanted to risk the life of a count in battle, and might very well be that the high command or king Albert I did not agree that he saw some real action.

Bizar fact is that he becomes a member of the still to form 5th Escadrille, and almost directly after it he vanishes from this unit and from all Belgian Escadrilles.

Perhaps one of our French specialists-forumites can help us a bit further ?

Have you already checked at Brussels (Air museum, documentationcenter Royal Army Museum) ?

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Old 16 May 2002, 05:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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REGULUS, Thank's for efforts done!. A moment I had doubts about the NATIONALITY of Count Joseph d'Hespel! There was indeed in France downed a Bréguet plane with a Maréchal-de-logis ...d'Hespel, tried to find it again, but thought it was somewhere (July?) 1916...only of some months these result are to find into Le Journal de la Guerre, of which I have only two volumes, not covering full WWI! But however interesting stuff!
It was placed under FRENCH planes downed and the "Christian" name was another one than "Joseph"!
(couldn't find it so quickly now, must paginate two volumes for again! But the planes and numbers are in it when possible, names of occupants if could be identified etc...) My first idea was to make enquiries by the Brussels Air Museum, Mr. Etienne Reunis or via BAHA, Mr Daniël Brackx their Public relation man. But yesterday I was active on this forum...(Airhips!) So...
So a moment I began to think Count Joseph d'Hespel could have been a FRENCHMAN? But why than he was in Belgium with our air forces? (Pre-WWI). But into the ANNUAIRE's he is listed up by the BELGIANS! Lived at Brusssels too. Most of our AEROSTIERS served joined with the FRENCH! Ernest Demuyter and Commandant Soucy on the French airships for more...Our "Zodiac III" and ""Belgique III" went (by road transported) from Antwerp/Wilrijck to La Rochelle/Rochefort! "Belgique III" became there the Zodiac-Vedette VZ-5 (after getting a Zodiac-Vedette gondola) and "Zodiac III" was further used as school training airship!
Ernest Demuyter was at the origin also WWI pilot! He had a Aé.C.B. plane pilots license (1910) but was as "observer" taking place with another pilot...which hided to France with his plane!
(History to find into W. Coppens books! Reason why Coppens named him a "coward"and deserter!)
But otherwise, Demuyter joined the French airships,at Rochefort, and served on it and made 110 flights with!Got their his Aiships License 1917!So What? O.K. from certain points of view, less dangerous than airplane battles!But he rendered also as military his services into things he was himself good in it!As balloon pilot he won for Belgium 6 times the Gordon Bennet Cup for gasballoons too! But was horrified about WAR!

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Old 16 May 2002, 06:15 AM   #7 (permalink)
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M.d.L. Pierre d'Hespel, Esc. BM 118, MIA 20Jun16. Ref. the Bailey/Cony French book. R.
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Old 16 May 2002, 06:33 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank's so I could find it quickly back gain!

Its indeed the one I mentioned, but not OUR BELGIAN Count d'Hespel!
That goes about :
Maréchal-des-logis Pierre d'hespel together with Caporal Jean Petrin which were downed by the Germans with their Bréguet biplane n° 140.
Motor Renault 220 HP n°?...
So it's to find into the Journal de la Guerre...
Under: "French planes fallen into our hands..."
not dated but month of JUNE...1916.

together with English planes, a total is listed of 22 planes.But not by day given up!French planes that month : 14. English ones 8.
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Old 16 May 2002, 01:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Seems the d'Hespel family was partly French and partly Belgian. They also had some properties at Veurne.

Will try to get his dossier at Brussels as I will be there by the beginning of June.

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Old 17 May 2002, 08:59 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Marechale des logis Pierre D'hespel was downed the 20th june 16 he was flying with BM118 and was MIA
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