Commemoration Flying Cannonners

Foto's Johnny Willems

Commemoration of

Lieutenent Charles Mathijs

Foto's Jacques Grauls, Johnny Willems

Union Nationale des Parachutistes A.G. Section 591 LILLE

The UNP-591 is a moral force, whose main goals are the defence of patriotic values and parachute memory, and solidarity between generations, in order to help each other, to share the memory of our departed comrades and to promote, for the future, the fundamental values in which we believe.
This group is absolutely :
- Apolitical
- Secular
- Respecting the laws of the Republic
- Respecting the well known values of Parachutists.....
In order for everyone to respect each other, no propaganda, proselytizing or racial, religious or political denigration will be tolerated. Even if the current events of the MOMENT lend themselves to it....
Respect for one another implies a minimum of courtesy and good manners, which are essential here.
Any person who does not respect these basic principles will be banned from the group forever after review by the administrators.

Annual General Meeting LOUVAIN Section

Foto's Johnny Willems

Commemoration Murder of the 10 Paracommandos in Kigali

The 10 Belgian paratroopers were supposed to accompany Rwanda's prime minister. But they were surrounded by Rwandan soldiers. On orders from higher-ups, they had to hand over their weapons to negotiate their release. After their arrival at the military camp in Kigali, they were beaten to death with the butt of a rifle. Immediately, all Belgians were evacuated on the spot and the complete withdrawal of all paratroopers followed.

Sauerkraut at the Regional Brabant

Foto's Dompy

Commemoration S.A.S. at Kortrijk

Foto's Jacques Grauls

Lots of police, for the ceremony. So there were distinguished guests with Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld), Defence Minister Ludivine Dedonder (PS) and Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open Vld). Also present: ZH Prince Michel de Ligne, Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman and Mayor Ruth Vandenberghe (Team Mayor). Furthermore, the Special Forces Group of the Belgian Army was very exceptionally present with an extensive armed detachment. The names of Etienne Battaille, Roger Carrette, Jean Melsens, Robert Deprez, Alfons Delmeire, Jacques Picquart, André Schaepdrijver, Romain Derveaux and Raymond Holvoet were read out. A dove of peace was released at each name.

Translated with (free version)

OPEN DOOR at the TrgCe CDO


Commemoration Kolonel Blondeel first commander of the SAS Paratroopers

Foto's Jacqueq Grauls

When war broke out in 1939, Blondeel was in the United States. Before leaving Belgium, he had already become a reserve officer in the Belgian army. So he immediately went to the Belgian embassy to ask to be sent back to Belgium. At that time, the Germans had already occupied his country. After contacting his wife, he decided to stay in America. In 1940, he was summoned to Canada to report to Joliette, Quebec. This is where North American Belgians were recruited for the army. He began heavy training with the Canadian army and was given command of a Belgian company that was sent to Britain in 1942. Once there, they all volunteered to form the new Belgian Independent Parachute Company, which later became the Belgian SAS Squadron (5 SAS). After intensive training in parachute use (Ringway, Manchester), airborne tactics (Airborne Centre, Hardwick) and gliding techniques (Brize Norton), they went to Inverlochy Castle in 1943 to complete their training with other units.
During this time Blondeel managed to distinguish himself as an excellent and popular leader. In 1944 and 1945, Blondeel carried out various legal and illegal operations in France and Belgium with his SAS unit. During this period he even visited his wife in Brussels. Blondeel's unit worked with the 29th Armoured Brigade and the 6th Airborne Division as they advanced through Europe.

After the Second World War, Blondeel returned to his former job as an engineer. He joined Haseldonckx Papierfabrieken. When this company was taken over by Wiggins Teape in 1974, he continued to work there and retired in 1981 at the age of 75. Throughout his post-war life, he remained in contact with the military as president of the Cercle des Amis du Para-commando de l'Amicale Nationale. He also resumed his work for the Boy Scouts, leading a busy social life. Eddy Blondeel died at the age of 94 on 23 May 2000.

Memorial Day at the 3de Bn Parachutisten

Foto's Jacques Grauls, Daniel Proots

1) Commemorating the participation of the Belgian Luxembourg detachment

A total of 3,587 volunteers served during the Korean War. There were 118 dead and missing. These included 2 Luxembourgers and 9 Koreans. About 350 volunteers were also wounded.

2) Commemoration of the first post-war operational jump into enemy territory by the 16Det of the 3BnPara

Remembrance Operatie 'Red Bean' Kolwezi door Reg Oostende.

Foto's Jacques Grauls, Dany Vanhauter.

The 1Bn Para is participating in the humanitarian operation "Red Bean", in which the Regiment Para-Commando, ordered by Colonel SBH R.Depoorter, is conducting an operation in Kolwezi, Shaba province, to ensure the safety of Belgians and other foreigners and, if required, evacuate them.

The "Red Bean" operation envisages 1,200 participants. 1Bn Para, 3Bn Para, the 14th Cie and platoon of mortars of the 2Bn Command, the Cie Atk, the RECCE squadron, a detachment of the TrgC Para Surgical Antenna of the Medical Service.

The 15th Wing has 10 C-130s and 2 Boeings B-727 ready to go, and 7 or 8 Boeings will be cleared by Sabena. The United States will fly 120 tonnes of fuel, food and drink daily by C-141 to Kamina.


The balance of the operation

About 2,300 people were evacuated. There were no combat losses among the para-commandos. However, the Regiment regrets the death of Private G. Digiano, of the platoon of mortars of the 2Bn Cdo, who had fallen seriously ill and died during his transfer to Belgium.

The Regiment's availability may also be mentioned. Thirty-thirty hours had elapsed between the warning order and the departure of the first aircraft at Melsbroek. It is difficult to carry out an operation of that magnitude more quickly. Added to this are the problems and changes in the first phase, which were resolved nicely, partly due to the adaptability of the Regiment.

Less than 36 hours elapsed between the departure order and the availability in Kamina of eight C-130s, about 1,200 para-commandos with command vehicles and heavy army equipment. Taking into account the distance between Belgium and Kamina on the one hand, and the detours the C-130s were obliged to make on the other, France had banned flying over their territory !!!???,the figure of 36 hours proves that the 15th Wing, Sabena and the Regiment Para-Commando performed a feat.

B.B.Q. Regionale Leuven.

Foto's Johnny Willems

Remembrance Destruction of the Sluices at Menen

During World War II (28 April 1944), the locks were destroyed by the SOE (Special Operation Effectif), a British organisation that carried out sabotage operations within occupied territory. A commemorative sign, fixed at the end of the 1940s, recalls this. It reads: 'Passer-by commemorates 28 April 1944. Those locks were destroyed on the orders of the Allied high command by a scissors of brave resisters and two paratroopers. Tribute to these who fell like heroes".


Ever since 1928, the "Last Post" has been blown every evening at 8 p.m. sharp under the mighty vaults of the Menin Gate. This memorial, in the form of a Roman triumphal arch, bears the names of 54,896 missing soldiers of the then British Empire. Here the names are listed from the beginning of the war until Aug. 15, 1917. The missing from Aug. 16, 1917 to the end of the war, are listed on panels at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Passchendaele. There are an additional 34,957.

CONGRES U.N.P. at Carcaconne France.


Travel to and participation in the Airborn Forces Day at Portsmouth.

Foto's Silke Langsberg, Daniël Proost


Departure, Ferry,

Military cemetery, Tribute to three Belgian soldiers died of their wounds during WWI.

Tribute to the memorial graves of English Paratroopers killed during the Falklands intervention.

Visit to the town of Aldershot

Dinner with our three guides

Day 2

Visite at The Royal Garrison Church of All Saints.

Departure for Portsmouth and visit to D Day museum


Gala dinner organised by Parachute Regiment Association Porstmouth POMPEY Branch

Day 3

Airborn Forces Day / Army Forces Day

Visite Royal Marine museum

Shipbuilding and repairs

Café Rouge fraternisation

Day 4 return travel

Return trip via Dover -Dunkirk Brussels and Leuven.

Memorial Fromelle (France)


The battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916 was a bloody initiation for Australian soldiers to warfare on the Western Front. Soldiers of the newly arrived 5th Australian Division, together with the British 61st Division, were ordered to attack strongly fortified German front line positions near the Aubers Ridge in French Flanders. The attack was intended as a feint to hold German reserves from moving south to the Somme where a large Allied offensive had begun on 1 July. The feint was a disastrous failure. Australian and British soldiers assaulted over open ground in broad daylight and under direct observation and heavy fire from the German lines. Over 5,500 Australians became casualties. Almost 2,000 of them were killed in action or died of wounds and some 400 were captured. This is believed to be the greatest loss by a single division in 24 hours during the entire First World War. Some consider Fromelles the most tragic event in Australia’s history.


"Open Door" at the TrgCePara te Schaffen

3th September Commemoration Meeuwen - Peer


In cooperation with the Belgian SAS, the National Friendship Circle Paracommando/Regionales Limburg and Leopoldsburg and the town of Peer, Meeuwen-Gruitrode commemorates Sergeant Jan Melsens, Lieutenant Freddy Limbosch and other fallen war heroes of World War II every year on the first Saturday of September. As a Belgian paratrooper, Sergeant Melsens was part of Operation Caliban, an operation set up by the SAS (Special Air Service), in early September 1944. He was dropped with several others led by Lt Limbosch over the territory of Peer behind enemy lines. The intention was to relay information about the retreating Germans to England. After Lt Limbosch's death at Peer, command was transferred to him. On 10 September, he and his men discovered a German artillery unit in Meeuwen. He immediately went on the attack, but ultimately did not survive the battle itself.

11th September Commemoration "Plaine Sapin"

As usual, this ceremony took place near the site where numerous secret agents and members of the SAS -SOE were dropped during World War II and which bore the name "Plaine Sapin".
It is a tribute and commemoration to the Belgian agents of the SAS-SOE 1940-1945 killed, or excecuted.

However, those who have been part of the GVP/ESR group and now the current " Special Forces " are not called soldiers but " OPERATORS ".
On this occasion, the successful candidates of the 2022 batch were presented to the civilian authorities, army command and attendees.
Of the forty candidates selected, after the intense and thorough formation, however, only five remained.
After the necessary speeches and tributes, the peters, together with the commander of the Special Forces, were allowed to congratulate the successful operators in their further career and specialisation.

Stay of the P.R.A. POMPAY Branch.

Feast of St.Michael in Brussels

Commemoration Detmold


On June 26, 1963, a plane crash occurred near Detmold in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia involving a Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar of the Belgian Air Force. The aircraft was accidentally shot down by the British Army at the Sennelager military training area near Detmold, killing 38 Belgian servicemen. Earlier that day, soldiers of the 13th Company of the 1st Para from Diest had left with four Belgian Air Force Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar aircraft from Melsbroek Air Base to participate in the "Lance One" exercise of the Belgian Armed Forces' covering troops in Germany. For this, a jump had to be carried out on two drop zones south of Geseke in Germany.
The weather conditions that day were bad. As a result, the exercise was canceled when the soldiers were already in the planes on their way to the dropping zones. When the soldiers learned that the drop would not take place, some of them took off their helmets. Shortly thereafter, the order was given to put on their seat belts to start the landing at Gütersloh RAF Station.
The crash
As one of the planes was flying over the Sennelager military training area at 12:05, the right wing of the aircraft was hit by a mortar shell fired by the British Army. The impact occurred near the fuel tanks causing the C-119 to immediately catch fire.
One of the instructors present, Edmond Chabot, managed to get nine paratroopers to jump from the plane, all nine surviving the accident. Chabot himself lost his life in the crash. Edmond Chabot was posthumously awarded the highest Belgian decoration.
The other three aircraft did manage to land safely at the airport.

Commemoration Domburg/Walcheren the Netherlands

The 'Monument for Belgian Commandos' in Domburg (municipality of Veere) commemorates the Belgian participation in the liberation of Walcheren in November 1944.
To make optimal use of the port of Antwerp, a free passage of the Western Scheldt was essential for the Allies. But South Beveland and Walcheren were still occupied, so the occupying forces controlled all movements on the Western Scheldt.

The ensuing amphibious attack took place along three lines: landing at Vlissingen (from Breskens), landing at Westkapelle (from Ostend) and an attack on the Sloedam from Zuid-Beveland. English and Scots from the Lowland Division landed at Vlissingen near the Oranjemolen. After a fierce battle, German commander-in-chief General Reinhardt was forced to surrender on 3 November 1944. Meanwhile, the landing at Westkapelle had also taken place. Belgian and Norwegian soldiers took part in this landing as part of 41 Royal Marine Commando on 1 November 1944. The units' mission was to capture the strip from Westkapelle to Breezand. In doing so, they had to take out the coastal batteries at Westkapelle, Domburg and Oostkapelle.On 4 November, the Belgian and Norwegian units arrived at Domburg. They took out some coastal batteries there and cleared the area of German soldiers. Successively Westkapelle, Domburg, Grijpskerke and Aagtekerke (on 1 November) and then Zoutelande, Biggekerke and Meliskerke (on 2 November) were liberated. Via Ritthem and Souburg (4 November), the liberators advanced towards the isolated Zeeland capital, which was packed with refugees. Middelburg was liberated on 6 November 1944.
The resistance the Allies encountered on Walcheren was among the toughest they encountered when landing on the European coast. Elements of the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade (the regiments The Black Watch of Canada, The Calagary Highlanders and the Régiment de Maisonneuve) launched the attack through the Sloedam on 31 October 1944. However, they failed to force a breakthrough through 'the bloody causeway'. Not until 2 November did the Scots of the 52nd Infantry Division of the Glasgow Highlanders succeed in breaking through the German lines elsewhere in the Sloe area. On 5 November, Arnemuiden and Nieuw- en Sint Joosland were liberated. Sint Laurens and Veere followed on 7 November. A day later, Serooskerke, Oostkapelle and Vrouwenpolder were also liberated.
When finally on 9 November 1944 the whole of Walcheren was liberated, the Allies could take stock. The losses amounted to 27,633 men (mostly Canadians and British), while 10,000 prisoners of war were taken. After the major battle for Walcheren and Zuid-Beveland, the Dutch Princess Irene Brigade was moved to Zeeland on 14 November 1944. When the brigade arrived on Walcheren, it found a dejected population. Most of the island was under water and many villages had been destroyed.