Who's Who - Fernand Jacquet

Fernand Jacquet Fernand Jacquet (1888-1947) scored seven aerial victories as a Belgian ace during the First World War.

Born in Petit Chapelle on 2 November 1888 the son of a wealthy landowner, Jacquet's military career began with his acceptance into the Belgian Military Academy in October 1907 while aged 18.  Initial service with the infantry was followed by training as a pilot, Jacquet receiving his pilot's brevet in February 1913 in spite of his evident poor eyesight.

Nevertheless Jacquet was duly assigned to 1ere Escadrille in 1915 following the outbreak of war in Europe and Germany's invasion of Belgium.  The first of his seven victories was achieved on 17 April 1915 when he downed an Albatross C aircraft over Rouers.  His was the first Belgian air victory of the war.  He flew a Maurice Farman aircraft, in which his first five 'kills' were achieved; his final two successes came while in charge of a SPAD.

Placed at the head of 1me Escadrille towards the close of 1916 Jacquet was given the privilege of flying the Belgian King, Albert I, over the front lines the following year in a Sopwith.  Albert was the first head of state to take to the air.  Later that year, in December, Jacquet was promoted to Capitaine-Commandant and in March 1918 he was assigned commander of the new Group de Chasse (specifically at Albert's instigation).  His final victory came five days prior to the end of war, on 6 November 1918 east of Ghent.

Following the armistice Jacquet was given his army discharge in 1920.  The following year he established a civilian flying school at Gosselies airfield, north of Charleroi.

Jacquet, who subsequently served with Belgian resistance during the Second World War until his arrest by German forces in 1942 died on 12 October 1947 at Beaumont.

A 'Wibble-Wobble' was slang for tanks.

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