Text: Serge Van Heertum - Pictures : Coll SBAP, Coll Jean Dries, Edmond Van Heertum & Amilpress © sbap 2013

In the 60's and 70's, the Belgian Air Force used to organize an international meeting every year. The goal was to show the citizens the quality of men and material to, the perfect integration within NATO and at last to trigger the vocation of young visitors.

The yearly awaited aeronautical event in 1964 was held at the airbase of Melsbroek, the military part of the international Brussels airport. The week-end of June 27 and 28, 1964 saw an intense activity on the military side of the airport, blending civil traffic and all kind of demonstrations. During those so called golden 60's of Belgian aviation it was still possible to have solo-displays or aerobatic teams flying through the skies of Zaventem. Nowadays, due to the intensity of air traffic, this would be completely unconceivable. The aerial demonstrations were held in presence of king Baudouin which arrived at Melsbroek by DC-3. As everybody knows, king Baudouin had a keen interest in aviation in general and in the Air Force in particular.

The King was accompanied by Paul-Willem Segers, Minister of Defence and General Jean Ceuppens, chief of staff of the Air Force.

The static display, so it seemed, was very interesting gathering the aircraft in use within the Air Force such as F-84F, RF-84F, Fouga, T-33, SV-4, Sikorsky S-58, Pembroke, Dakota and C-119. But the highlight of this event, to the public, was the newcomer in the inventory, the F-104G dressed in shiny metal. Besides the Black, Yellow and Red aircraft, some foreign visitors attended also the show. From Germany, a Fiat G-91R from the AkG-54 and a Noratlas from the LtG-62. Canada showed the DHC-4 "Caribou" and the United States demonstrated a Bell Iroquois from the 7th Army Corps, a F-101 Voodoo from the 81 TFW, the brand new (at this time) F-5B from Northrop in his metal and sprightly blue livery and at last certainly the most interesting airplane, a Mc Donnell F-4B Phantom II from the US Navy. This was a recent aircraft and its second appearance in Europe after Italy. It was indeed in May 1963 that the VF-14 "Tophatters" traded their F-3H Demon for the Phantom and became the first unit equipped with F-4. From January 23, 1964 the VF-14 moved on to its base-carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42 Midway class). We must not forget that the United Stated was at war in Vietnam and the VF-14 was part of this from June 1966. It was thanks to the unitís deployment in the Mediterranean Sea between April 28 and September 30, 1964 that one could admire this superb machine in Belgium.

To complete the overview of the static display we also take note of the presence of the Light Aviation, the anti-aircraft defence units (Nike Hercules, Ajax, Honest John and Hawk), the Search and Rescue units, a booth dedicated to aerial reconnaissance and of course the Para-commando regiments indissociable from the 15th Transport Wing.

The flight demonstrations were an elegant mixture of mass fly-by, solo displays, no less than four international renowned teams - the Dutch "Whisky Four", the British "Red Pelicans", the "Patrouille de France" and the Italian "Frecce Tricolori".

Throughout the displays one could admire Gloster Javelin, Handley Page Victor, F-100, F-101, F-102 and other Douglas C-133 Cargomaster, straight from the United States without stopover. The Air Force solo-displays, always blessed by the public (even nowadays) with SV-4 flown by Adj Lambermont, Fouga Magister flown by Cdt Jacques "Red" Dewaelheyns, the F-84F Thunderstreak flown by Josť Marette and the F-104G Starfighter flown by Maj "Bill" Ongena.
To conclude the demonstrations 9 F-84F Thunderstreak made a fly-by painting the skies of the airport with our National colours.

After a brief encounter with some pilots, king Baudouin left the airbase.
It was certainly a great airshow as we all like them and due to this success the 15th Transport Wing did it again in 1967... But this is another story.

Static Display
The brand new Starfighter, the FX45 was delivered in April (Amilpress) General view of the exhibition hangar (Amilpress)
Northrop MQM-36A and General Electric J-79 engine (Amilpress) The RECCE corner (Amilpress)
Para Commando exhibition (Amilpress) 1600 1/72 scale models...(Amilpress)
Search and Rescue (Amilpress) A bar in a C-119G...(Amilpress)
(Coll Jean Dries) (Coll Jean Dries)
View on the static area (Coll Jean Dries) (Coll Jean Dries)
Mc Donnell Douglas F-4B Phantom II (Coll SBAP) US Navy VF-14 "Tophatters" (Edmond Van Heertum)
F-4B pilot flying suit (Amilpress)
Mc Donnell F-101C Voodoo (Coll Jean Dries) 81 TFW from Bentwaters (Coll Jean Dries)
Towing the Talon (Coll Jean Dries) Northrop F-5B (Edmond Van Heertum)
Bell UH-1 Iroquois from HQ 7th Army (Coll SBAP) De Havilland DH-4C (CF-OYE demonstrator) (Edmond Van Heertum)
Luftwaffe Fiat G-91R from AkG-54 Oldenburg (Coll SBAP) Luftwaffe N.2501D Nordatlas from LtG 62 Alhorn (Coll Jean Dries)
The anti aicraft and surveillance village (Amilpress) Alouette II Medevac near a Honest John missile (Coll Bruno Ghils)
Douglas MGM-1B Honest John tactical balistic missile & Diamond M139D 6x6 truck
 (Coll SBAP)
Raytheon MIM-23B Hawk ground to air missiles
(Coll SBAP)
Bell-Douglas MIM-14 Nike-Hercules  (Coll Jean Dries) Bell-Douglas MIM-3 Nike Ajax (Coll SBAP)
Nike Hercules (Amilpress) (Coll SBAP)
Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (FT3) from EPA (Coll Jean Dries) Potez CM-170R Fouga Magister (MT44) from EPA (Coll SBAP)
SV-4Bis (V59) from EPE (Coll Jean Dries) (Coll SBAP)
Douglas C47B Dakota (K13) from 20 Squadron (Coll Jean Dries) Percival Pembroke (RM10) from 21 Squadron (Coll SBAP)
Sikorsky S-58C (B8) from 40 Squadron, Navy Flight dedicated (Coll SBAP) Fighter-Bomber and Transport together (Coll Jean Dries)
Republic F-84F Thunderstreak (FU93) from 31 Squadron (Coll Jean Dries) Armaments panel (Coll SBAP)
Republic RF-84F Thunderflash (FR6) from 42 Squadron (Coll Jean Dries) (Coll SBAP)
King Baudouin I arrival
(Amilpress)
King Baudouin, Mister Paul-Willem Segers MOD and General Jean Ceuppens (Amilpress) Ready for the flying display (Amilpress)
The Airshow
Opening of the show (Coll SBAP) From the 3rd Bataillon (Coll SBAP)
B for King Baudouin...(Coll SBAP) F for Queen Fabiola...(Coll SBAP)
SV-4B solo display by Adj Lambermont  (Coll Jean Dries) 24 Fouga aircraft leaded by Maj Gouters (Coll SBAP)
Gloster Javelins from the RAF 5 Squadron based at Geilenkirschen (Coll Jean Dries)
Sikorsky S-58C in capability demonstration (Amilpress) Bringing a jeep in the combat area  (Amilpress)
Handley Page Victor, nuclear bomber (Coll Jean Dries)
Light Avi Alouette II demo ( Amilpress) The A14 (Coll SBAP)
The Dutch "Whisky Four" team based at Woensdrecht (Coll Jean Dries) The Dutch T-Birds at take off (Coll Jean Dries)
In action (Edmond Van Heertum) On taxi after the demo (Edmond Van Heertum)
Arrival of the Douglas C-133 after one strech flight from the US (Amilpress) The crew of the C-133 at parade (Amilpress)
The USAF golden 60's: F-100, F-101 & F-102 from Bitburg  (Coll SBAP)
Before the mass take off (Coll Jean Dries) Awaiting the troops (Coll Jean Dries)
On taxi before mass take off (Coll SBAP) Low pass (Edmond Van Heertum)
CP22 & CP33 low level (Amilpress) Massive pass of the Flying Boxcar (Amilpress)

The "Red Pelicans" from the RAF Central Flying School of Little Rissington
(Coll Jean Dries)

(Coll Jean Dries)
(Coll SBAP) The "Red Pelicans" on taxi (Coll SBAP)
Piper Cub agility (Amilpress) The light avi performance (Amilpress)
(Amilpress) (Coll Jean Dries)

F-84F solo display by Cdt Josť Marette (Coll Jean Dries)

The "Streaks" parade (Coll SBAP)
High visibility FU52 (Coll Jean Dries) Maj Marette at landing (Coll SBAP)

The "Patrouille de France" (Coll Jean Dries)

The French Fouga in action (Coll Jean Dries)
(Coll Jean Dries) Mirage IIIC from EC 02.013 "Alpes" Colmar based (Coll Jean Dries)
The "Frecce Tricolori"  (Edmond Van Heertum) The Fiat G-91 PAN team at take off, note the well known building of Brussels airport (Coll Jean Dries)
(Coll Jean Dries) (Coll SBAP)
Italian diamond (Coll Jean Dries)
Northrop F-5B on taxi (Edmond Van Heertum) The F-5B in demo (Coll SBAP)
Para drop of 400 men of the 3rd bataillon (Amilpress)

Solo display by Maj "Bill" Ongena (Coll SBAP)

1st Wing Starfighter's (Coll SBAP)
The final with the 9 Thunderstreak and the National colours (Coll SBAP)
Pilot and para presentation to the king (Amilpress) Souvenir before leaving (Amilpress)
In the Press of June 1964...
Films of this event...
British Pathe report (click on the picture) Old 8mm on You Tube (Click on the picture)

 

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