Pinsard joined the army in 1906 and was decorated twice for service in Africa. In 1912, he transferred to the French Air Service and was serving with MS23 when the war began. On 8 February 1915, he was captured when his aircraft was forced down behind enemy lines. More than a year later, after several unsuccessful attempts, Pinsard and a fellow prisoner succeeded in tunneling through a 12 foot wall and escaped from a German prison. Promoted to Lieutenant and retrained on aircraft developed during his incarceration, he returned to combat duty with N26. Pinsard is believed to be the first frontline pilot to fly the SPAD VII in combat.
During World War II, Pinsard served with Groupe de Classe 21, losing a leg during a bombing raid on 6 June 1940. Post-war he was imprisoned for collaborating with the Nazis. He was later pardoned. General Pinsard died at the age of 66 in Paris.
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur
"Has shown, under particularly difficult circumstances, exceptional energy and tenacity. Posted to an escadrille de chasse, at his request, he has had numerous combats during the course of which his plane was riddled by bullets. On 7 August 1916, during an infantry attack, he made six strafing runs from a height of 200 meters as German reserves massed for a counter attack. Already cited twice." Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur citation
Officier de la Légion d'Honneur
"Incomparable escadrille commander, and at the same time an admirable pilot. Constant example of self-denial, spirit and sacrifice, a model of bravery, audacity and strength. Possesses the highest qualities of a leading pilot. Seriously wounded in 1917, he returned to take his place at the front and continue his glorious exploits, bringing his total to 25 victories. Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur for feats of war, cited 13 times in army orders." Officier de la Légion d'Honneur citation