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Capagorry, Jean

Date of birth:
February 17th, 1894 (Bayonne, France)
Date of death:
May 18th, 1981 (Saint Denis de la Réunion, France)
French (1870-present, Republic)


He participated brilliantly in the 14/18 war during which he was wounded and received the Military Medal and the Croix de Guerre with palm.

Assigned as a civil service clerk in the Sudan (1917-1919), he was stationed in Dakar and Saint-Louis (Senegal) until 1925. In 1926, graduated from the Colonial School, civil servant of France d'Outremer , he was posted to the Middle Congo as head of subdivision of Berberati, then of Ewo and Sombe-Souanke.

Deputy head of the Ngoko-Sangha department (1930-1932), he was head of the Madingou subdivision (1933-1936) then head of the Haut Ogooué department (1937-1939) and head of the Kouilou department (1939- 1942). On the Franceville radio station that he had installed, he followed the events of the French campaign in June 1940 and heard General de Gaulle's call. On September 2, 1940, he rallied the Haut Ogooué territory to Free France.

Colonel de Larminat then entrusted him with the command of Pointe-Noire; from September 9, with the agreement of Colonel de Larminat and at the head of 40 guards, before joining his post, he descends the Ogooué and obtains the rallying of various posts (Lastrouville, Koula Moutou, Makokou and Mekambo) east of Gabon. Having failed to convince the administrator of the N'Djouhé department, he returned there on October 7 with additional resources, relieved the administrator and rallied the entire department to Free France.

For this action, he will be sentenced to death in absentia, on March 13, 1942, by the Clermont-Ferrand military tribunal. After the capture of Lambaréné and the rallying of Gabon, he rejoined his post in Pointe-Noire. Until February 1942, he commanded the department of Kouilou-Niari there before being appointed interim governor of the Middle Congo. He embarked on August 26, 1942 aboard the torpedo boat Leopard under the orders of the frigate captain Evenou to try to rally Reunion Island to Free France. He succeeded in carrying out this operation and was promoted to governor of the island on November 30, 1942.

On January 6, 1943, he was appointed member of the Defense Council of the Empire. Governor of Reunion, Jean Capagorry was appointed, in 1948, inspector general of administrative affairs in Madagascar. Then, after his retirement in 1951, he was appointed as the representative of Madagascar on the Superior Council of the French Abroad. He is also president of the French Solidarity Association.

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Second World War (1939-1945)
1 citation:
1 palm
Croix de Guerre (1914-1918)
Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 19th, 1944
l' Ordre de la Libération
Second World War (1939-1945)
with clasp "AOF"
Médaille Coloniale
Second World War (1939-1945)
l' Ordre impérial du Dragon d'Annam