In 1941 balloonist Albert Vanden Bemden married "his" Josephine Lecleir, better known as "Fientje", who he had left behind in a carnation field 5 years before. In his book he writes:
The abandoned sweetheart
My father, Felix, had to make a flight from "De Spiegel" in Jette. I had asked my fiancée to come and watch the ascent. At the moment of the take-off I simply lifted her in the basket. My father was very surprised and asked: "Who is this young lady?" My answer was: "You'll see that later...".
My father had to make a stopover to take other passengers aboard. During this landing he turned to his non-expected passenger and said: "Miss, you'll have to get out here". Fientje obeyed and climbed out of the basket in the middle of a vast carnation field. I was following in the retrieve car, my father asked me to get in the basket and off we went again. Fientje stayed behind in an unknown region, and was quite panic-stricken. Fortunately some friends were following the balloon and they gave her a ride.
With sadness we heard about the decease of Fientje. She died last week at the age of 85, and was buried on Thursday. We wish the family a lot of strength in these painful days.