Fons and Kee

Fons Oerlemans: His Life

Fons was born in Belgium just before the start of the Second World War, a violent and deadly period in the history of our planet. Mid Atlantic diving
As a child, he survived the northern Belgian battlefields and witnessed the fall of Nazi Germany. The small, hidden and forgotten village he lived in lay in German occupied territory and was often the center of war activities. He saw many air battles and almost daily gazed at the sky to experience the awesome sight of immense sky darkening armadas; the bombers with four engine flying east to hit the very heart of Nazi Germany. Fons with parachute

Caught by the 'Gestapo', the secret police, his father went into forced labour to help build fortifications in occupied France. He later escaped.

In 1944, a failing Germany launched a desperate but destructive attack on the port of Antwerp using V1 flying bombs and Werner von Braun's V2 rockets. Twice Fons survived a near miss of these destructive warheads. But once he was wounded and his parent's house was completely destroyed.

After D-day, Canadian and American troops succeeded in pushing the Germans back over the Belgian-Dutch border. For Fons the war was almost over.

The danger now lay in the presence of immense quantities of lost and discarded ammunition, grenades, machine guns and armed vehicles that riddled the once German occupied land.
For many months, Fons and his friends played with the deadly weapons but against all odds, they survived the dangers of that post war period without many problems.
He had seen more than enough of war and violence and for him it was now a 'farewell to arms' forever.

Extract from his forthcoming book: 'THE ADVENTURER'

At the age of 21, he wrote in his diary one single but for him important sentence: "I have only one life to live and therefore it is my destiny to travel each and every highway." With that, he left his country to take a two-year hitchhiking trip around the world.

1945. A globe and a travel guide.1956. Ready for Africa.
1945. A globe and a travel guide.1956. Ready for Africa.

Since then, he has assembled a still growing resume that presently reads: technician, traveller, scuba diver, explorer, family man, seafarer, adventurer, lecturer, writer, navigator, inventor, parachutist, balloonist, versatile craftsman and mechanic, designer-builder and flight tester of many remarkable flying machines, builder of several very exotic trans-Atlantic floating machines, and according to many, a remarkable artist.

He likes it taking first steps into a new frontier. He has easily become one of the most creative adventurers of his generation. Fons continues to work eagerly on new projects and challenges.

Successful entrepreneurs are people with vision and scope. They possess the necessary creativity, persistence and drive that enable them to transform their ideas into practical reality. Fons Oerlemans is such an entrepreneur who has realized, among many other things, a variety of maritime adventures over many years. He has also made three lengthy documentaries, the first of which received an award at Monte Carlo's international radio and television festival. In particular, he is the author of three books about his unique and fascinating achievements.