Déodat du Puy-Montbrun was born at Toulouse on February 18, 1920.
He joined the army at the age of 18 and two years later, he was one of those who fought the German panzers and Stuka fighter-bombers pouring into France. Wounded on June 24, 1940 and taken prisoner, he escaped by jumping off a truck on its way to Germany. Upon return to France, he joined the Resistance, and, crossing the free zone, he entered Britain where he volunteered to join the S.A.S. At the end of his training as a “Jedburgh” commando at Ringway, he was dropped in France in 1944, where he participated in secret missions and then in the liberation of the national territory.
In 1945, he was admitted into the French secret services, in the “Action” service. Thereafter, he was transferred to the 11e choc (11th Shock parachute regiment) and he volunteered to go to Indochina, where he arrived in 1950 for an almost uninterrupted stay of five years.
Transferred to the 8th colonial battalion of parachute commandos, and becoming aide-de-camp to General de Lattre de Tassigny, Captain Du Puy-Montbrun prepared himself to participate in about twenty guerrilla warfare operations on the rears of Vietnamese resistance forces within the framework of the GCMA with its Hmong supporters: sabotage, destructions, capturing of prisoners, and deployment of spies.
In November 1952, he was called up to serve with the British SAS, in an operation in the Malaysian jungle where he and his buddies were dropped, in the heart of the forest, on top of trees more than fifty metres tall. After rappelling, a pursuit race was started with communist guerillas, which lasted for fifteen days, and won him the admiration of the British Colonel Sloge, who led the operation.
In 1955, Déodat du Puy-Montbrun was in Algeria, where he proved to be an ardent pioneer in the use of helicopters to improve commando actions against rebel groups. Squadron commander in 1956, he became the head of training for the operational helicopters of group No. 2 who is in charge of operational and medical evacuation transportation missions. He flew for 3,000 hours. On 29 April 1958, after having been dropped alongside his commando close to a powerful rebel unit, he was severely wounded.
In 1961, he was appointed second-in-command to the “airborne troops school of Pau”. Classified an army elite, he was asked to go on retirement, but he refused. He was dropped in 1964 without any valid explanation.
Déodat du Puy-Montbrun was not a member of the Secret Armed Organisation, but he was startling by the sincerity of the accounts he made in court in support of his former buddies involved in the April putsch. There was no legitimate reason justifying why this excellent officer was not considered, for an army in which he had served selflessly and passionately for twenty three years.
Wounded four times and holder of the Great Cross of the Legion of Honour, Colonel Déodat du Puy-Montbrun had nineteen recommendations including six in the army order. He received the Second World War cross, the TOE war cross, military valour, the volunteer servicemen cross and the Vietnamese courage cross. He equally held the aeronautics medal, the escapee medal, the rosette of the resistance, the gold medal of the Health Service, the individual TOE lanyard, the King’medal, and the Malayan medal, making a total of 26 war awards. He was one of the officers with the highest number of awards in his generation. One of his commendations read thus: “fearless and blameless knight“.
This hard-line, proud, ascetic, idealist and sensitive volunteer serviceman who was constantly searching for absolute perfection in self-sacrifice, was a parachutist, swimmer, mountaineer, who was versed with the use of all weapons, explosives, and the sword.
Writer, he is author of several books, including the "L'honneur de la guerre" published by Editions Albin Michel, and some adventurous novels.