' Sus ' Venesoen François (RAF n° 107235)

Distinguished Flying Cross, Knight in the Order of Leopold,
Belgian Croix de Guerre 1940 with 3 palms and 2 Bronze Lions,
1939/1943 Star with "Battle of Britain" Clasp, Atlantic Star and Clasp, War Medal 1939-1945, ...
(André Bar Collection)

François "SUS" Venesoen was born 19 October 1920 in Antwerp. After he had failed (25/05/39) as pupil pilot in the 80th promotion, he became air gunner with III/2 Aé at Nivelles. After Belgium was being over-run by the Germans, he escaped to the UK that he reached on June 23, 1940. On 19 August 1940, he was posted as air gunner to 235 Sqn where he flew coastal patrol duties. Whilst joining 272 Sqn, his demand for pilot was accepted and he than attended 13 SFTS. Commissioned pilot, he joined 350 (BE) Sqn. He obtained his first kills during operation JUBILEE. Being promoted F/O early 1943, he joined 610 Sqn. He was awarded a DFC on 15 December 1943.  In 1944 he came back as flight commander to 350 (BE) Sqn. Whilst flying over the beaches of Normandy on D-Day, his aircraft suffered engine failure, he bailed out above the channel and was picked up dead from his dinghy and was burried at sea.

DFC Citiation of 15 December 1943:

"Has participated in over 50 sorties during which he has destroyed 3 enemy aircraft. When attacking targets on the ground, Flying Officer Venesoen has damaged 3 barges and a locomotive"


             His claims are :
19/08/1942 1 FW-190 Dieppe (Operation Jubilé)
19/08/1942 1 FW-190 Dieppe (Operation Jubilé)
16/11/1942 1/2 Ju-52 St-Aubin
29/03/1943 1 FW-190 Off Brighton (610 Sqn)
29/04/1943 1 FW-190 Damaged (610 Sqn)
29/04/1943 1 FW-190 Damaged (610 Sqn)
24/09/1943 1/2 Me-110 Cap St-Mathieu (610 Sqn)
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