Jean-Baptiste Piron

Jean-Baptiste Piron
Born (1896-04-10)10 April 1896
Couvin, Belgium
Died 4 September 1974(1974-09-04) (aged 78)
Uccle, Belgium
Allegiance Belgium
Service/branch Belgian Army
Free Belgian Forces
Years of service 1914–1957
Rank Lieutenant-General
Commands held 1st Belgian Infantry Brigade
Battles/wars World War I
World War II

Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Piron DSO (French pronunciation: [ʒɑ̃.ba.tist piʁɔ̃]; 10 April 1896 - 4 September 1974) was a Belgian military officer and noted member of the Free Belgian Forces during World War II. Piron commanded the 1st Belgian Infantry Brigade, also known as the Brigade Piron, which fought on the Allied side in Western Europe in 1944-45.

After the end of the war, Piron commanded the Belgian army of occupation in West Germany and later became Chief of Staff and aide to King Baudouin.


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 was 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.[1]

Medals and decorations


  1. "Piron, Jean-Baptiste : Brigade Commander". (in French). Retrieved 2 April 2014.

External links

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