De Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth


De Havilland DH85 Leopard Moth L51




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