Military Wiki

Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Piron DSO (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃.ba.tist piʁɔ̃]; Couvin, 10 April 1896 - Uccle, 4 September 1974) was the commander of the 1st Belgian Infantry Brigade, also known as the Brigade Piron, which took part in the liberation of Western Europe during the Second World War.


After joining the army in 1914, he served in the 2nd Line Regiment until being hospitalised for appendicitis in October 1917. Temporarily unfit to serve in the infantry, he was transferred to the air service and became an aerial observer. By the end of the war in 1918, he had been promoted to the temporary rank of Captain (made official in 1933). In 1936 he was promoted to the rank of Major, becoming commander of the 1st Grenadier Regiment.

Second World War[]

In April 1941, he fled the German occupation of Belgium via France, Spain and Gibraltar, and managed to reach Scotland in January 1942. The following year, he promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and put in command of the 1st Infantry Brigade (Brigade Piron) by Hubert Pierlot.


After the war he led the Belgian army of occupation in Germany. In 1947 he was promoted to Lieutenant-General in the Belgian army. From 1951 to 1957 he was chief of staff of the army and aide-de-camp to King Baudouin.

Medals and decorations[]

BEL Kroonorde Grootkruis BAR.svg Grand Cross of the Order of the Crown with palm
Grand Officer Ordre de Leopold.png Grand Officer of the Order of Leopold
B1730.jpg Officer of the Order of Leopold II with crossed swords
BEL Croix de Guerre WW1 ribbon.svg Croix de Guerre 1914-1918, with palm and gilt lion
BEL Croix de Guerre 1944 ribbon.svg Croix de Guerre 1940-1945, with palm
BEL Militair Kruis 1klasse BAR.svg Military Cross, 1st class
World War I Victory Medal ribbon.svg Victory Medal
BEL Fire Cross 1914–1918.png Fire Cross 1914-1918
BEL Volunteer Combatant's Medal 1914–1918.png Volunteer Combatant's Medal 1914-1918
Commemorative Medal of the War 1914-1918 (Belgium) - ribbon bar.png 1914-1918 Commemorative War Medal
BEL Centenary of National Independence Commemorative Medal.png Centenary of National Independence Commemorative Medal
BEL Escapees' Cross 1940–1945.png Escapees' Cross 1940–1945
BEL Commemorative Medal of the War 1940-1945.png Commemorative Medal of the War 1940-1945 with crossed sabres
Legion Honneur GO ribbon.svg Grand Officer of the Legion d'honneur
Croix de guerre 1939-1945 with palm (France) - ribbon bar.png French Croix de Guerre 1939-1945 with palm
60px Grand Cross of the Order of Adolphe of Nassau
Ribbon bar Order of the Oak Crown.jpg Commander of the Order of the Oak Crown
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Knight Grand Cross BAR.png Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau with crossed swords
Taeguk Cordon Medal.png South Korean Order of Military Merit, Taeguk or 1st class
Dso-ribbon.png Companion of the Distinguished Service Order
1939-45 Star.png 1939-1945 Star
France and Germany Star BAR.svg France and Germany Star
Defence Medal BAR.svg Defence Medal[1]


External links[]

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