1940 - 1946




The creation of the "Royal Navy Section Belge" was made possible thanks to the lobbying of a Belgian Mailboat Officer Victor Billet.

He was the first Belgian to receive a commission in the Royal Navy as Lieutenant RNVR on October 10 1940.

Victor Billet was reported "missing in action" during the the raid on Dieppe on August 19 1942.

Lieutenant RNVR Victor BILLET

On October 22  1940 the first 30 Belgians, under the leadership of Victor Billiet,
started their basic training in Skegness at the HMS Royal Arthur base.

It was only on April 3 1941 that an "Admirality Fleet Order" officialised the creation of the "Belgian Section" of the Royal Navy.

Lieutenant Commander RNR Georges Timmermans was appointed senior officier.

Picure taken in 1945
Commodore 2nd Class RNR Georges TIMMERMANS

The Belgians manned several patrolvessels : HMS Phrontis, HMS Raitea, HMS Electra II, and HMS Kernot.

HMS Kernot

Belgian Navy personell was also assigned to British ships, such as aircraftcarriers, destroyers, battleships, etc.

London, July 21 1942.
Preparing for the Parade on the Belgian National Day.

On February 12 1942 the corvette HMS Godetia (K226) was manned with Belgian Navy personell.

The ceremony took place at Sunderland in the presence of Camille Gutt, Belgian minister of Defense,
and admiral RN Sir Percy Noble, commander "Western Approaches".

Middle : Admiral RN Sir Percy Noble
Right : HE Camille Gutt, Belgian Minister of Defense
HMS Godetia

On April 23 1942 followed the corvette HMS Buttercup.

HMS Buttercup    

Both corvettes escorted many convoys, and they also took part in the landing in Normandy on June 6 1944.

The 118th Minesweepers Flotilla was manned with Belgian Navy personnel during the summer of 1943.

They worked in the area of Harwich, where they cleared the the entry channels.

North Sea 1943, the Belgian Minesweep Flotilla 118 at work.   Lieutenant RNR Petitjean on the bridge of the MMS 188.  

The 118th Minesweepers Flotilla entered the harbour of Oostende, in liberated Belgium, on September 14 1944.

May 1945, 118th MS Flotilla at Oostende.

They started to clear the river Schelde, and on November 20 1944, the first convoy, escorted by some of the minesweepers,
arrived at the port of Antwerpen.

In November 1944 the Belgian Government decided to recruit 1.200 volunteers for the Royal Navy Belgian Section.

They all received their training in Skegness, United Kingdom.

HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness, Great Britain.
New Belgian recruits arriving.


  HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness, Great Britain.
Belgian recruits training.


945, HMS Royal Arthur, Skegness.
Class of recruits.

On February 1 1946 the Belgian Section of the Royal Navy became the new Belgian Navy.

The Belgian Navy was integrated in the Ministry of Transport, not the Ministry of Defense!!!


RNSB 1940 - 1946"