On a journey of discovery to historical sites? Download the TracesOfWar app directly on Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Chevigné, Pierre, de

Date of birth:
June 16th, 1909 (Toulon, France)
Date of death:
August 4th, 2004 (Biarritz, France)
French (1870-present, Republic)


After studying at the Saint-Louis school in Gonzague then at the Saint-Louis high school in Paris, he entered the Saint-Cyr special military school in 1927. He left it two years later in the "Maréchal Gallieni" class. .

Infantry officer from 1929 to 1934, he then left the army and became secretary general of a family company and journalist.

From 1935, Pierre de Chevigné was Mayor of Abitain in the Pyrénées Atlantiques.

Mobilized as a reserve captain in 1939, he commanded a company in the 127th IR, then the Corps Francs of the Regiment and finally those of the 2nd ID.

In April 1940 he received a triple wound by shrapnel from a grenade and a quadruple wound in June, during the defense battles of Rethel during which he took the head of his battalion. Quoted three times to the order of the army, he was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor for the French campaign.

Evacuated to the military hospital of Dax, he left it before his recovery, at the time of the request for an armistice, and embarked at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, on June 24, 1940, aboard the Ettrick, British armored personnel carrier, to reach England.

He was sent to the Middle East in September 1940 to command the 1st Marine Infantry Battalion (1st BIM) then the 1st Colonial Demi-Brigade, with which he was again wounded, by bullets and shrapnel during the campaign in Syria on June 10, 1941.

Called by General Catroux, High Commissioner of Free France in the Levant, he heads his cabinet there in Beirut and at the same time fulfills the functions of Head of Special Services in the Middle East.

Pierre de Chevigné was promoted colonel in December 1941.

Appointed, at the beginning of 1942, head of the Military Mission of Free France in Washington, he rejoined his post in May 1942, after having been seconded for several weeks to Combined Operations (Lord Mountbatten's commandos) in London and having participated in an operation on Bayonne. .

He took an essential part in the rallying of the West Indies in July 1943.

Appointed Chief of Staff of the French Forces in Great Britain under the orders of General Koenig in December 1943, Colonel de Chevigné landed in Normandy and directed the operations of the Bayeux bridgehead in June 1944.

Appointed military commander of the liberated regions, he followed the Allied advance from Bayeux to Nancy, passing through Cherbourg, Rennes, Angers, Paris, Chalons.

Pierre de Chevigné took over the town hall of Abitain after the war, which he kept until 1965 and became general councilor of the canton of Sauveterre-de-Béarn (1945-1976).

He was elected MRP deputy for the Basses-Pyrénées in the elections of 1945-1958.

Sent by the government as High Commissioner of the French Republic to Madagascar, he led during the years 1948-1949 the pacification, reconstruction and reorganization of the Big Island.

Secretary of State for War from 1951 to 1954 in the Cabinets René Pleven, Edgar Faure, Antoine Pinay, René Meyer and Joseph Laniel, he was also Minister of National Defense in the Pflimlin government in May 1958.

Chairman, from 1964 to 1976, of the General Council of Pyrénées-Atlantiques, he was also honorary governor general of Overseas France and administrator of the Union des Injured de la Face (Gueules Cassées).

Do you have more information about this person? Inform us!

Second World War (1939-1945)
Awarded on:
October 9th, 1945
l' Ordre de la Libération
Second World War (1939-1945)
4 citations :
3 palms for 3 citations at Army level
Croix de Guerre (1939-1945)
Second World War (1939-1945)
with rosette
Médaille de la Résistance Française
Second World War (1939-1945)
5 red stars :
WIA 04.1940 + 06.1940 + 06.1941
Médaille des blessés de guerre