Family tree of Edmond THIEFFRY

Aviator, World Wars & Contemporary Wars

BelgianBorn Edmond THIEFFRY

Belgian First World War air ace and aviation pioneer

Born on September 28, 1892 in Etterbeek, Belgique , Belgium

Died on April 11, 1929 in Kibanga, Congo Belge

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Thieffry was born in Etterbeek, a municipality of Brussels, and went on to study law in Leuven (hence his nickname "The Flying Judge"). After qualifying he was conscripted into the Belgian Army, joining the 10th Regiment in 1913. At the start of the First World War he saw service as a staff attaché to General Leman, but was captured by the Germans. He escaped on a stolen motorcycle to the neutral territory of the Netherlands, where he was arrested by Dutch military police. Using his legal knowledge and Dutch language skills he managed to talk his way out of internment, and travelled to Antwerp to rejoin the Belgian army.

In 1915, Thieffry joined the Compagnie des Ouvries et Aérostiers—the Belgian Army Air Corps—and with some difficulty qualified as a pilot at Étampes. On 1 February 1916 he joined the 3rd Squadron as an observer for artillery, where he was appreciated for his exactitude and courage. He crash-landed so many aircraft that he was promptly assigned to a single-seat fighter squadron, as no one would fly with him! He was rapidly transferred to 5th Squadron (The Comets) under Captain Jules Dony based at De Panne in December 1916.


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Geographical origins

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