KOHNEN, Pierre


Registration Nr.:    09796

Birthday:    28.11.1931, Medernach

Father:    unknown

Mother:    Christine KOHNEN

Service entry:    15.11.1949

Contingent:    1st

Ranks:    Soldat de 2e Classe

Death:    14.02.1958, Beni Mezzline (Algeria)

Pierre was conscripted in November 1949 and assigned to the Ist Battalion before being transferred to the IInd Battalion in December 1949.

After his compulsory term, Pierre voluntarily joined the first contingent in September 1950. Lieutenant Wagener described him as a cooperative soldier with good combat conduct. Although he met all the requirements to stay in the military, Pierre left the Army immediately after his return from Korea and took a job at a steel manufacturer. In April 1955, he headed to the recruitment station of the Légion étrangère in Strasbourg and volunteered for a 5-year period. Being able to report to the paratroopers by medical attestation, it appears that Pierre’s Korea experience was considered a valuable asset during his evaluation and rendered him eligible for the elite unit of the paratroopers. He arrived a couple months later in Oran, Algeria, where he was attached to the 1er régiment étranger de parachutistes.

In the morning of 14 February 1958, Pierre took part in a mission in the Koudiat Khenadji perimeter in the Guelma section, when his squad came under heavy fire. A bullet hit him in the chest, killing him only moments after. Pierre was buried in the European cemetery in Guelma in the Duvivier region in north-east Algeria. As one of very few Luxembourgers, he was posthumously honored with the mention “Mort pour la France” (Died for France).

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