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Vaux, de, Etienne

Date of birth:
December 3rd, 1922 (Stuttgart, Germany)
Date of death:
September 30th, 1945 (Tripoli, Libya)
French (1870-present, Republic)


From a noble family, Etienne de Vaux was born on December 3, 1922 in Stuttgart, Germany.

Son of a diplomat, he studied secondary school with the Jesuits, at the Saint-François de Salles college in Evreux, then at the Saint-Joseph college in Avignon and finally at the Holy Family college in Cairo, Egypt.

He began studying law in Cairo, which he interrupted in 1942, after the battle of Bir-Hakeim, to join the Free French Forces.

Assigned to the 1st Moroccan Spahis Marching Regiment (1st RMSM), he took part in the fighting at El Alamein in October 1942. Self-gun driver, he then took part with the Flying Column in operations in Tunisia and received a first citation for his action during the Battle of Medenine in March 1943.

In September 1943, he was sent with his regiment to Morocco where the latter reformed and received American equipment; meanwhile, Etienne de Vaux follows cadet officer courses in Rabat.

In April 1944, the 1st RMSM, which had become a reconnaissance regiment of General Leclerc's 2nd Armored Division, embarked for England.

On August 5, 1944, Aspirant de Vaux landed in Normandy, took part in the combat at Le Mans and Alençon, received a new citation and entered Paris with the 2nd Armored Division on August 25.

Immediately after, the campaign of Alsace and the capture of Strasbourg followed; he is cited once again for his action of November 17, 1944 in Cirey-sur-Vezouze in front of Strasbourg where, attacked in an undergrowth by an enemy superior in number and well armed, he manages to keep him in check, even inflicting him losses, while waiting for the reinforcement of the Infantry.

He then fought in the Royan pocket in April 1945 before heading for Germany and reaching Berchtesgaden on May 4.

In August 1945, on leave, he joined his family in Cairo for a while. On returning from leave, on September 30, the plane that was to take him from Tripoli to France crashed on take-off; second lieutenant Etienne de Vaux was killed instantly.

He is buried in Tripoli.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
November 17th, 1945
posthumously awarded
l' Ordre de la Libération
Second World War (1939-1945)
with 3 citations
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
Second World War (1939-1945)
with clasps "Tunisie"
Médaille Coloniale