Fons Oerlemans: His Life
was born in Belgium just before the start of the Second World War, a
violent and deadly period in the history of our planet.
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
by the 'Gestapo', the secret police, his father went into forced labour
to help build fortifications in occupied France. He later escaped.
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.
D-day, Canadian and American troops succeeded in pushing the Germans
back over the Belgian-Dutch border. For Fons the war was almost over.
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'
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.|
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
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
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.