Cole Porter celeb in the FFL

joette ✞

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Porter enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and served in North Africa. [Other chiefly modern sources dispute Porter's claim, but it was accepted at the time.] He was transferred in 1917 to the French Officers School at Fontainebleau and was assigned to teach gunnery to American soldiers. He set up a luxury apartment in Paris and alternated between his officer duties and leading a playboy lifestyle. In 1918, in Paris, he met Linda Lee Thomas (1883 – 1954), a rich Louisville, Kentucky-born divorcée several years his senior; they were married in 1919. She was once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world.

I've read that this is maybe untrue????
 

Cpl K

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HERE IT SAYS YES ON A FRENCH LEGION SITE

http://www.kinaa.com/legionetrangere/celebre.php

HERE IT SAYS HE MADE IT ALL UP

http://www.coleporter.org/bio.html

Career and Travel

His first Broadway show was See America First, which was a 1916 flop despite the social luminaries in the early audiences -- a feature of hiring Bessie Marbury as theatrical producer. It was described by the New York American as a "high-class college show played partly by professionals." Cole later claimed to be in hiding after the failure of the show but he actually was prominent in the New York social scene and continued to live at the Yale Club in New York.

In July of 1917, he set out for Paris and war-engulfed Europe. Paris was a place Cole flourished socially and managed to be in the best of all possible worlds. He lied to the American press about his military involvement and made up stories about working with the French Foreign Legion and the French army. This allowed him to live his days and nights as a wealthy American in Paris, a socialite with climbing status, and still be considered a "war hero" back home, an 'official' story he encouraged throughout the rest of his life.

The parties during these years were elaborate and fabulous, involving people of wealthy and political classes. His parties were marked by much gay and bisexual activity, Italian nobility, cross-dressing, international musicians, and a large surplus of recreational drugs.
 

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According to the historical account found in Douglas Porch's extensively researched history of the Foreign Legion, Cole Porter, as well as other American volunteers, were not allowed by French law to enlist in the French military proper so they were enlisted into the Legion and quickly 'transferred' to the regular French army. They did NOT want to be associated with the criminals, dregs and hard life of the Legion.
 

bigun6605

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Like Joette says, there are conflicting accounts. I now read he enlisted in the FFL, served in North Africa and then transferred to an officer training regiment in France. This enabled him to have a large appartment and do much entertaining. That sounds a little strange. Anyone else comment?
Al Cagle
 

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....He was another wuz in the FFL....like Jean Genet...wonder how the French brag about either being in FFL ranks.....better than deny it, I suppose...and Cole Porter comes under 'transatlantic protocol'....
 
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hannibal

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From what I have read he was never in the Legion. He was in Paris but never enlisted what alone seen any combat with the RMLE in the Great War. He was on the other hand known for his wild parties in Paris. A playboy, if you like. I know the Legion had bad times but never that bad that they would accept Cole Porter.
 

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Pierre Messmer, Alan Seeger and Susan Travers seem more to have been 'the real deal' of French and foreign personalities in the FFL....
 
OP
joette ✞

joette ✞

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bigun1_6605 said:
Like Joette says, there are conflicting accounts. I now read he enlisted in the FFL, served in North Africa and then transferred to an officer training regiment in France. This enabled him to have a large appartment and do much entertaining. That sounds a little strange. Anyone else comment?
Al Cagle
I think it's very strange! Especially after listening to all you guys' accounts of the Legion I don't think it happened I think it was a publicity stunt!
After his first Broadway failure, Cole banished himself to Paris, France. He loved to tell people back home that he had joined the French Foreign Legion, but in reality, he went to work for the Duryea Relief Fund.
 

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Porter enlisted in the French Foreign Legion and served in North Africa. [Other chiefly modern sources dispute Porter's claim, but it was accepted at the time.] He was transferred in 1917 to the French Officers School at Fontainebleau and was assigned to teach gunnery to American soldiers. He set up a luxury apartment in Paris and alternated between his officer duties and leading a playboy lifestyle. In 1918, in Paris, he met Linda Lee Thomas (1883 – 1954), a rich Louisville, Kentucky-born divorcée several years his senior; they were married in 1919. She was once dubbed the most beautiful woman in the world.

I've read that this is maybe untrue????
...Cole Porter was a FFL fraud who enlisted in the FFL for the 'romantic aura' but didn't complete his contract inside the FFL....he was also a homosexual who masqueraded behind a heterosxual façade...
 

Samtoo

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...Cole Porter was a FFL fraud who enlisted in the FFL for the 'romantic aura' but didn't complete his contract inside the FFL....he was also a homosexual who masqueraded behind a heterosxual façade...
Isn't that what this post said:

Hole Snorter

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According to the historical account found in Douglas Porch's extensively researched history of the Foreign Legion, Cole Porter, as well as other American volunteers, were not allowed by French law to enlist in the French military proper so they were enlisted into the Legion and quickly 'transferred' to the regular French army. They did NOT want to be associated with the criminals, dregs and hard life of the Legion.
 

suttongm

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Isn't that what this post said:

Hole Snorter

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

According to the historical account found in Douglas Porch's extensively researched history of the Foreign Legion, Cole Porter, as well as other American volunteers, were not allowed by French law to enlist in the French military proper so they were enlisted into the Legion and quickly 'transferred' to the regular French army. They did NOT want to be associated with the criminals, dregs and hard life of the Legion.
Funny, Hole must have been his backstage name yuk yuk
 

Joseph Cosgrove

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I've banned Le petit caporal and sexpert (in a minute) both for a day. This is after having previously warned the three (3) of them, the third seemed to have heeded my warning.
It's only for a day- as opposed to 3 days. Take it easy will you lads !.
 

jonny

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I was never insulted in the legion....... Ha, Ha, Ha 😅😂
 

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