The so-called ‘Thistle Squadron’ was the first in the Belgium Air Force earmarked to receive the new Hawker Hurricane. Col Michel ‘Mike’ Terlinden and Daniel Brackx recount the story
In 1939 the Aéronautique Militaire (AéM)-Militair Vliegwezen (MV), as the Belgian Air Force was then called, was entirely dependent on the Army, but the latter’s thinking had not changed since the First World War. The Défense Aérienne du Territoire (DAT) took in both aircraft and observation balloons under AéM control and the anti-aircraft guns of the Défense Terrestre Contre Avions (DTCA). Operational air force units were basically divided at that time into three regiments: one of observation aircraft, one of fighters and another of army reconnaissance types.