Order of Leopold (Belgium)
The Order of Leopold (Leopoldsorde in Dutch, Ordre de Léopold in French) is one of the three (current) Belgian national honorary orders of knighthood. It is the highest order of Belgium. It is named in honour of King Leopold I. It consists of a military, a maritime and a civilian division. The maritime division is only awarded to personnel of the merchant navy, and the military division to military personnel. The decoration was established on 11 July 1832. It is awarded for extreme bravery in combat or for meritorious service of immense benefit to the Belgian nation. The Order of Leopold is awarded by Royal Decree.
During the Second World War, the Order of Leopold was awarded to officers of foreign militaries who had helped to liberate Belgium from the occupation of German forces. Famous recipients include Brand Whitlock, George S. Patton, Bernard Montgomery, Dwight Eisenhower, and Wesley Clark. Medal of Honor recepient Sergeant Francis S. Currey was awarded the Order of Leopold for his actions at Malmedy, Belgium in late 1944. The medal was also granted to Karel Bossart in 1962, and Josip Broz Tito in 1970.