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    Belgian K.I.A. medal-group with documents - WWII 1940

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    Some years ago I bought this belgian medal-group. I needed 2 years to research it and thats what I found so far:

    Medal group to the belgian Marechal de Logis (quartermaster?) Guillaume Jean Henri Defauwe who was killed in the beginning of WWII.

    The medals are:

    Order of Leopold II., knights-cross with palm

    Croix de Guerre 1940 with palm

    1940-1945 Commemorative Medal with swords

    1940-1945 Commemorative Medal of the city of Liege

    There is also his document for the posthumous award of the Leopold Order and the Croix de Guerre. Both on the same document with the following inscription:

    Le Ministre de la Defense Nationale a l honneur de faire savoir

    que, par Arrete de S.A.R., le Prince Regent, du 22.10.1945n? I208

    La Croix de Chevalier de L?Ordre de Leopold II Avec Palme

    et attribution de la Croix de Guerre 1940 Avec Palme

    a ete decernee, a titre posthume,

    au Marechal des Logis DEFAUWE, Guillaume-Jean-Henri,

    pour: ?Sous-officier courageux et devoue, d?un calme imperturbable devant le danger. S?est toujours fait remarquer par une grande conscience et un sentiment eleve du devoir. Observateur au poste d?observation de Trembleur, s?est fait tuer pres de son poste, entoure d?ennemies.?

    Short Translation:

    The Ministry of War has bestowed the Order Leopold II., knights cross with palm and the Croix de Guerre 1940 with palm posthumously to marechal de logis Guillaume Jean Henri Defauwe on October 22. 1945 for:

    A brave and dutiful NCO with no fear during danger. He always stroke out by his duty and dedication. He was killed as an observer near his observation postition near Trembleur surrounded by the enemy.

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    Marechal de Logis Guillaume Jean Henri Defauwe was the chief of a forward observation position of the Fort de Barchon at a coal-mine in Trembleur near Liege.

    On May 10, 1940 the fort was attacked by the germans.

    On Saturday, May 11, 1940 at about 13:00 o'clock, in his observation post Marechal de Logis Defauwe was hit by a bullet in his belly and died. He was the first dead of Fort de Barchon.

    The Fort de Barchon was one of the most heroic defended forts during the german campaign in belgium. It stroke back the attacks from May 10 - May 18! 8 days!!!!

    This soldier was an important and brave man who was killed in a very important operation in WWII. The legendary invasion of Fort Eben-Emael was on May 10!!

    I found some informations on this website:


    Saturday, mai 11, 1940:

    13:00 Battery of machine-guns against planes re-enters at the fort. It will be installed for a part in the ditch of throat and for the other part on the solid mass. Mission harceller planes at low altitude. A touched plane. It must be posed between Housse and Trembler. Two wounded machine gunners. Killed observer with Trembleur.

    22:35 Of faction to shelter AC1, the Miessen shift worker is strongly burned with the face by a rocket. Doctor Wiener is appointed to go to the shelter.

    The quotation on the agenda are as follows:

    - MDL Van Michel

    - Soldier Melen

    - Soldier Grandry

    - Soldier Vervier

    - MDL Defauwes


    11 mai

    11H00 - l'observatoire 0337 de Neuve-Maison ne r?pond plus.

    12H10 - Tir sur le carrefour des "Trois chemin?es"

    13H00 - Un trimoteur est prit comme cible par les mitrailleuses et doit se poser en urgence dans la campagne entre Housse et trembleur; la premi?re victime du fort tombe: le mar?chal des logis DEFAUWES, chef du poste d'observation au charbonnage de trembleur est tu? d'une balle dans le ventre.

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    After contacting the webmaster of this page I got additional informations about Defauwe:

    On Saturday, 11. May 1940 he was with other soldiers in his observation post at the coal-mine of Trembleur. At about 01:00 pm the Wehrmacht attacked this position. The soldiers left the post to retreat to the Fort de Barchon. After they started Defauwe returned to the post to pick up their light machine-gun to prevent the enemy to cature the weapon. During his way back he was shot.

    There shall be a commemorative-pillar at the place he died and in the Forts museum are pictures of him.

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    • 11 months later...

    Very nice set indeed.

    Could you tell me if the monogram on the palm of the Leopold II order and the of war cross is written as "LIIIL" or just "L"

    I've got a doc of a KIA soldier who received more or less the same medals, and I'm reconstructing his group, but I'm not sure about the palms I need, hence my question.


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    Thanks gentlemen.

    I still have this group and the price was like an EK1 1914 with case during the times, we had real money (D-Mark). The Croix de Guerres palm is with "LIIIL" and the Leopold only with an "L". I still want to visit Belgium and the place where he was killed. Just to see, where it was and to make pictures. I also hope to find a photo of this brave man.

    Edited by JensF.
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    • 7 years later...

    Gentlemen, this post is a looooong time ago, but here an update. Last week I drove to Flanders to take part at the four-day-march of the Yser around Ypres and I visited Fort Barchon for the first time. I had Defauwe's medals in the trunk of my car. I decided to bring them home and donate them to the small museum of the fort. They belong to this place, where he fought and was killed in 1940 and I must say, this decision was very easy.

    Some photos will follow soon.

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