De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth
Single engine two seat observation and liaison aircraft
At the start of World War II the Belgian Colonial Authorities in Belgian Congo acquired a single De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth, which was to be used by the Openbare Weermacht/Force Publique. During the East African campaign at the Sudanese/Egyptian border the aircraft was based at Watsa (North-Eastern Congo) together with two requisitioned aircraft: Caudron Pelican OO-ATF "Bolikoko" of Dr. De Beve and De Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth OO-AMN of Pierre Micha. Those three aircraft were used for communications flights in and around Sudan. During this war period, the aircraft was camouflaged and wore the registration C1. After the war the Leopard Moth of the Force Publique was given an overall silver paint scheme and the new registration L51. In 1954 the aircraft was sold on the civilian market and re-entered the civil aircraft registration of Belgian Congo as OO-CAF.
In August 1939 the Belgian Government also requisitioned De Havilland DH.86 Leopard Moth's OO-GEJ which served with the "Estafette Escadrille" and was subsequentely captured by the enemy at Montpellier-Frejorgues in mid-1940
|Picture||Serial||c/n||Date In||Date Out||History|
|L-51||7096||Oct 1940||1954||OO-AVD, OO-CAF, C-1, L-51, OO-CAF|
|-||- (OO-GEJ)||7014||Aug 1939||1940||OO-GEJ, Estafette AéM, captured by ennemy at Montpellier-Frejorgues|
Last updated 17/07/14 08:18 Daniel Brackx