Pierre DeValle
Born January 7, 1901
Auvergne, France
Died April 16, 1979
Paris, France
Affiliation(s) French Roundel France
German Roundel Vichy France
Rank Commander, Fort Lavalle
Final Position Lt. Colonel
Pierre DeValle was a French Lieutenant-Colonel who fought in World War I and World War II. In World War II, he was appointed commander of Fort Lavalle, a French fort on the island of Newfoundland off the coast of Labrador. DeValle was captured in 1940 by the Western Allies and he was sent to a prison in Nottinghamshire, and returned to France, where he died.

Biography Edit

DeValle was born in Auvergne, southern France, to two brick-makers. He was drafted into the French Army in 1918, fighting in the Second Battle of the Marne. DeValle was promoted to Staff Sergeant by the time the war ended, and he was made a Lieutenant-Colonel by 1939. That year, he was transferred to the colonies of France, sent to defend Newfoundland against a possible German invasion. He constructed Fort Lavalle, named after Pierre Lavalle, one of the French government members, and was in charge of 500 Vichy troops in the fort. DeValle was captured near Aisne-del-Norte by Canadian troops led by Sergeant James Blackburn Hawthorne, and was led to the commander of the British troops, Brigadier Nathaniel Smithford, to whom he surrendered. He was barged out of Newfoundland with 1,000 other captives, held in England as a prisoner of war. DeValle was held in Nottinghamshire's impromptu POW camp, and returned to France in April 1946, living in Paris until he died.

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