Pierre Mairesse-Lebrun

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Pierre Mairesse-Lebrun as prisoner of war in Germany in 1941

Pierre Marie Jean-Baptiste Mairesse-Lebrun (16 March 1912 – 6 December 2003) was a French Army cavalry officer who became famous for his daring escape from Colditz castle, Oflag IV-C. He was born in Bauzy, Loir-et-Cher.

Lebrun served as a captain in the 4th regiment Chasseurs de l'Afrique and was captured during the Fall of France. He was sent to Oflag IV-C also known as Colditz Castle, from which he escaped on July 2, 1941.

After a walk in the park all POWs gathered to be counted and be escorted back to the main castle. At this moment all guards, who stood around the park fences, also returned to the park entrance, leaving the back fences unguarded. Mairesse Lebrun and Lieutenant Pierre Odry used this opportunity to leave the group, and together they ran to the fence at the backside of the park. Odry catapulted Mairesse Lebrun over the fence where he ran away. The German guards were so stunned that they did nothing initially; when they recovered, they started shooting without success. Still in his sports clothes, Lebrun hid in a field and via Switzerland reached Vichy France.[citation needed]

In December 1941 he went to Spain, where he was arrested. He tried to escape again but fractured his spine paralysing his legs.[citation needed]

On July 20, 1946, he married Christine Solvay (1922–2006).

Lebrun was created a Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur.

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