The Aircraft Builder Jean Stampe

was born on April 17th, 1889 and grew up in St.-Jans-Molenbeek (Brussels).  He married Marie Lemmens and on September   11th, 1909, their son Leon was born.
On November 3rd, 1919, when Jean was 26, he volunteered for wartime duty with the Belgian army.  He was primarily interested in the country´s fledgling air force.  Unfortunately, the new Belgian “Aéronautique Belge” only took on licensed pilots.   All potential pilots were required to pay for their own training. Thus Stampe went to Hendon, England to train at the flying school of an American pilot named Beatty.
Stampe had to pay a great number of gold francs before he could earn his much desired pilot´s license, but henceforth was entitled to call himself an “Aviateur”.  On the battlefield he flew allied aircraft and was a dependable pilot, which is probably why he was chosen to be King Albert I of Belgium´s personal pilot.
Much to the dismay of the general staff, the king had decided to inspect the front lines personally by air. The staff finally gave in, and after much consideration, Stampe flew King Albert over the trenches.  The king was very pleased with the flight, which was why, from then on, Stampe flew the king over the front lines on a regular basis.
As a result of the many windy hours spent together in the cockpit, Stampe and the king developed a friendship that would last many years.
However, Stampe was soon faced with personal tragedy. His young wife fell victim to the deadly Spanish flu, which ravaged Europe at that time. Stampe was left alone with his young son.
Stampe´s dream of owning his own flying school was realized after he was discharged from the army on January 1st, 1923.
By then, 26 year-old Hélène van Mossevelde had entered his life and they married on March 3rd, 1923.