Légionnaire parachutiste : que reste-t-il du mythe ?

mark wake

Actual or Former Legionnaire
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#2
Le mythe? I think the regiment's actions speaks for themselves! As for the Anciens talking about Kolwezi, the Major, I knew him as a young caporal from 4ème Cie. The general was my old chef de section (platoon commander) in 1ère Cie. Last saw him at Camp Raffalli in August 83. Not long before I left the Legion. He was then a capitaine and I was a caporal-chef. “So, Wake, you're leaving us ?” “Oui, mon capitaine!” “No regrets?” “None mon capitaine!” He just smiled got up and shook my hand. It was hard walking through those camp gates for the last time! My respects general Puga (now retired)!
 

Papillon

Legionnaire
#5
Le mythe? I think the regiment's actions speaks for themselves! The anciens talking about kolwezi? The major I knew as a young caporal from the 4th Cie. The general? My old chef de section, 1ère Cie. Last saw him at Camp Faffali in August 83. Not long before I left the Legion. He was then a capitaine and I was a caporal-chef. “So, Wake, you're leaving us ?” “Oui, mon capitaine!” “No regrets?” None mon capitaine! He just smiled got up and shook my hand. It was hard walking through those camp gates for the last time! My respects general Puga (now retired)!
Hi Mark there were some good lads in 4e Cie back in 83 and a two decent Brits in the CRAPS. Names are my downfall, but never forget a face!
 

mark wake

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#7
Then that I shall forgive! When I was chef du patrol police militaire i would have my driver stop at the bakery up by the citadel after our night shift and have a warm baguette with coffee. But there was always a slight difference depending on day and Baker! Such is the French language!
 

mark wake

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#8
I see you have been changing the words on my posts Rapace! Including Raffalli! Do you hate us / me that much?
 
#9
I see you have been changing the words on my posts Rapace! Including Raffalli! Do you hate us / me that much?
I hate nobody, except the haters... :D A mere typo when editing your post. Corrected. Sorry for that.
Of course, everybody knows that the 2e REP base is named Camp Raffalli... After Major Barthélémy (aka Rémy) Raffalli, chef de corps of 2e BEP, who died in Indochina in Sept 52 from wounds received a few days before in action.
Interesting to hear what the PR officer (the Major), and former Legion museum curator, says about the 2e REP. Being isolated on an island, where there’s not much to do outside the barracks, especially in winter, means that the regiment has (sort of) kept the old spirit of the Legion, when the legionnaires were living in secluded positions, be it in the African desert or the jungle or the swamps of Indochina. In such conditions, the Legion was really like a family for all those men.
 
#10
(...) Interesting to hear what the PR officer (the Major), and former Legion museum curator, says about the 2e REP. Being isolated on an island, where there’s not much to do outside the barracks, especially in winter, means that the regiment has (sort of) kept the old spirit of the Legion, when the legionnaires were living in secluded positions, be it in the African desert or the jungle or the swamps of Indochina. In such conditions, the Legion was really like a family for all those men.
I always thought that their was plenty to do in Calvi, summer or winter, if you liked a good drink and a cracking pizza as most of us did when having some down time! Suppose for the non drinkers it might have posed a different island but in summer lots of tourists winter the bars were quieter and they seemed to like our money. Sometimes you have to have had the T-shirt on to be objective!
 

mark wake

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#11
I hate nobody, except the haters... :D A mere typo when editing your post. Corrected. Sorry for that.
Of course, everybody knows that the 2e REP base is named Camp Raffalli... After Major Barthélémy (aka Rémy) Raffalli, chef de corps of 2e BEP, who died in Indochina in Sept 52 from wounds received a few days before in action.
Interesting to hear what the PR officer (the Major), and former Legion museum curator, says about the 2e REP. Being isolated on an island, where there’s not much to do outside the barracks, especially in winter, means that the regiment has (sort of) kept the old spirit of the Legion, when the legionnaires were living in secluded positions, be it in the African desert or the jungle or the swamps of Indochina. In such conditions, the Legion was really like a family for all those men.
Think I lost count of the number of times I was stuck in the middle of nowhere! My 24th birthday was spent in Kolwezi! A couple of other birthdays doing tours of Northern Ireland with the Brits. as for Noël? The one time the Legion allowed you to get really hammered (Camerone being the other exception)! Only one or times I was able to relax. That’s why the Brits/Germans/Spanish used to gang together in the foyer when we could! Looking back? I wouldn’t change a damn thing! It was an experience serving with the Brits and the Legion. No regrets!
 

jonny

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#12
Mark did you had wish to go back after leaving FFL?
Hi Dusa, just clocked up another birthday (78th), so I thought I should pop in again (here's Jonny!). Anyway, from scanning the recent posts I notice that Algeria never seems to get a mention. Ahum, that’s where the Legion became the Legion, you know. But anyway, I will look for some old pics from Algeria to refresh memories.
The first one is one of my platoon lining up to get airlifted into the mountains around the Tunesian border in 1958, during the ‘battle of the frontiers’. The pic is of the third section of Compagnie Portée, 2e REP. I’m just behind the tall guy towards the back of the line up. The boss is Adjudant Chiono, on far left leaning on a stick because he was wounded in the leg a few weeks earlier (Ah... Those were the days...).

80BB68B5-1BE8-4C31-8E3E-4D20A05ADA02.jpeg
 

jonny

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#13
The second pic is a view of the Legion cemetary in Guelma, eastern Algeria, also during the ‘battle of the frontiers’, about 1959. All ‘Morts pour la France’. (As if...)

9FF0C543-AB63-46FF-9A95-C27E8275EFE6.jpeg
 

jonny

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Legionnaire
#14
This is a pic from our little chapel in the 2 REP camp near Philippeville in Algeria, 1960. All these legionnaires are to be buried the next day. The coffin in the middle front covers the body of our Captain Bourgin.

0C69D762-E09F-4498-9A26-5A6956B5C4A9.jpeg
 

jonny

Actual or Former Legionnaire
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#17
I just thought a few reminders of Algeria would be appropriate since it all but seems to have disappeared from the ‘Cervens’ forum. I thought it was mainly in his memory to start with. But obviously not, sorry mon capitaine. Oh well, the world and its wars move on... Never mind, I always look forward to comments on my pics.
Just to close the posts I attach a pic of the Legion recruit class of 1957 in Mascara, Algeria. I’m barely visible as no 4 from left in the back row (with arrow pointing).

9CD2AA14-7EE0-4E30-8EF9-BDE8CEEDCD41.jpeg
 

Joseph Cosgrove

Moderator
Legionnaire
#18
The second pic is a view of the Legion cemetary in Guelma, eastern Algeria, also during the ‘battle of the frontiers’, about 1959. All ‘Morts pour la France’. (As if...)
I'm curious to know what happened to the graves once Algeria became independent. Where they repatriated to France?
 

jonny

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#19
Joe: At that time, the word was “la valise ou le cercueil”, the suitcase or the casket, so most French, and those Algerian loyal to France, like the harkis, were scrambling for places on the few boats available. Hardly a time to worry about those already dead.
But I have seen photos of desecrated French graves in Algeria.
 

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