Behaeghe Aimé

Aimé Behaeghe was born in Kachtem (Izegem) on November 17th, 1890. An amateur cyclist in his spare time, young Aimé became abicycle repair man, before studying auto mechanics and aircraft construction. From 1913 to 1914, he lived in Brasil with his brother Joseph, where he became an accomplished pilot.

When Germany invaded Belgium on August 4th, 1914, Aimé and his brother returned to Belgium to volunteer in the army. On October 29th, Aimé was employed in the Belgian Airforce, where he soon rose to the rank of junior lieutenant. In 1915, he served as a pilot on the Yser Front. Various sources confirm that he had an extremely successful career as a pilot, completing over 137 observational and offensive flights between April 16th and December 8th. He was involved in 17 dogfights, from which he escaped without a scratch.

On December 12th, 1915, he was transferred to Congo, a Belgian colony at the time. Working a pilot for the Force Republique, he was part of the team of aviators that attempted to recapture Lake Tanganyika from the Germans. The lake was part of German East Africa, a German-occupied territory that covered the mainland part of modern day Tanzania. Aimé is especially renowned for his flights there. He was the first pilot to fly in Central-Africa, and was nicknamed “Conqueror of Lake Tanganyika and Kigoma”. On December 3rd, 1916, Aimé died in Congo, following a disease.