On this day

mark wake

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Great story, mate, keep them coming. Wasn’t Cpl Arnold the first to be killed?
Yes he was Jonny. Somehow he got separated from the rest of the stick. We found him mutilated. Still in his parachute.
 

jonny

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Yes he was Jonny. Some how he got separated from the rest of the stick. We found him mutilated. Still in his parachute.
Does an Australian by the name of Neville Clawley strike a mind? He was at Kolwezie. A good friend of mine, by the way.
 

mark wake

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Does an Australian by the name of Neville Clawley strike a mind? He was at Kolwezie. A good friend of mine, by the way.
Jonny I’m bloody useless at names but very good at remembering faces! So here goes... The two Aussies I knew in the REP.. Dave my n°2 équipe choc in Kolwezi short and stocky ginger hair blue eyes and freckles. The other lad and I have a feeling that’s Neville.. lanky build dark hair and eyes. He was our company barber! Send a photo Jonny. He must know me! Cheers mate
 

jonny

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Jonny I’m bloody useless at names but very good at remembering faces! So here goes.. the two Aussies I knew in the REP.. Dave my no2 equipe choc in kolwezi short and stocky ginger hair blue eyes and freckles. The other lad and I have a feeling that’s Neville.. lanky build dark hair and eyes. He was our company barber! Send a photo Jonny. He must know me! Cheers mate
That sounds like him, I got photos somewhere. Back tomorrow. Cheers, mate.
 

Pink Floyd

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16th of May 1978, The bugler is sent into the the town of Calvi, the Gendarmes are diverting traffic from the town centre, the trucks are lined up to take the legionnaires back to camp. Helicopters are sent to Castelnaudary's parade square to pick up the future corporals and future sergeants
The 2ème REP is on Alert:


16 May 1978

Hostage situation of Kolwezi, Zaire
Situation of Kolwezi


The city of Kolwezi is situated in the ore-rich region of Shaba (now Lualaba), in the South-East of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). In 1978, the city held 100,000 inhabitants in a 40 km² urban area, with city quarters, separated by hills. It is a strategic spot, as it lies on important roads and railroad lines that link Lubumbashi to Dilolo. There is an airport 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the center of the city.

Hostage taking by rebels

In March 1978, a meeting took place between Algerian and Angolan officials and militants of the FNLC. Zairian intelligence was made aware of a possible destabilisation operation in the Shaba region, which had a high value because of its mines of precious materials like copper, cobalt, uranium and radium. For some months the Soviet Unionhad been purchasing all the cobalt available on the free market, but western intelligence did not connect this to the upcoming crisis. The FNLC operation was to be headed by Nathaniel Mbumba, assisted by officers from the Communist states of Cuba and the German Democratic Republic.

In May 1978, an uprising took place in Katanga against President Mobutu Sese Seko. On 11 May, a 3,000 to 4,000 man strong FNLC rebel group arrived. The FNLC was supported by foreign mercenaries.[1] Departing from Angola, it had crossed neutral Zambia. Upon arriving, they took about 3,000 Europeans as hostages and carried out various executions, particularly after the intervention of Zairian paratroopers on 18 May.[2] Between 90 and 280 Europeans were killed.

From 15 May, hundreds of rebels started departing the city in stolen vehicles, leaving only 500 men led by Cubans, mostly were garrisoned in the quarter of Manika and in the suburbs.

President Mobutu requested foreign assistance from Belgium, France and the United States.[

Franco-Belgian operation
Preparation

On 16 May at 00:45 1978, the French 2e régiment étranger de parachutistes (2nd REP), led by Colonel Philippe Erulin, was put on alert. (1) A meeting took place in West Germany between Belgian and French officials to coordinate a common operation. The meeting was a failure, as the French wanted to deploy their forces to neutralise the rebels and secure the city, while the Belgians wanted to evacuate foreigners. Eventually the Belgian Paracommando Regiment was sent independently. Meanwhile, elements of the planned operation started to leak into the press, causing fears that surprise would be lost if swift action were not taken.

(1) The clairon de sérvice was sent to the centre of Calvi and bugled the rassemblement.


1526429220186.png
Croix de la bravoure Zaïroise, the original with Rep du Zaire ops/Shaba. If you see one of these in a medal shop... Buy it (give one of your kidneys as a down payment).
 

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Rapace

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The above part of these memoirs is dedicated to adjudant-chef Jacques Hosteins Ancien of the the REP and 1ere cie. He died in July of last year, aged 78, surrounded by friends and family in Corsica. I served with him in Zaire, Gabon, Central African Republic and Lebanon. And of course many times when we did the garde d'honneur for the regiment flag. Rest In Peace mon adjudant-chef.
Found this picture of ACH Hosteins on the web.

5051
 
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Joseph Cosgrove

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For me, and of course this only counts for me: the adjudant-chef has just come back from a briefing (hence the notebook). He's saying to the first few legionnaires in his section, "gather around. You lot look sharp" As he moves along ,taking in the situation and the 'atmosphere', he's about to shout out "chefs de groupe à moi".
 
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Mark you should write a book about your adventures or a book together with some members here like jonny, joe ..etc. maybe a chapter each. Remember i got a book out the Library here and it was a chapters with each German telling his own Legion story. was great .
 

mark wake

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Croix de la bravoure Zaïroise, the original with Rep du Zaire ops/Shaba. If you see one of these in a medal shop... Buy it (give one of your kidneys as a down payment).
Paid for in blood /sweat/ tears. I shall say no more.
 

mark wake

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For me, and of course this only counts for me: the adjudant-chef has just come back from a briefing (hence the notebook). He's saying to the first few legionnaires in his section, "gather around. You lot look sharp" As he moves along ,taking in the situation and the 'atmosphere', he's about to shout out "chefs de groupe à moi".
You have it just right Joseph. He just had that certain presence! Even the officers were quiet when he was around! I’ve a story about him and i. Maybe later.
 

mark wake

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Mark you should write a book about your adventures or a book together with some members here like jonny, joe ..etc. maybe a chapter each. Remember i got a book out the Library here and it was a chapters with each German telling his own Legion story. was great .
I’m no story teller mate. But to get together with the lads one day? I think it would be more drinking than anything else!😊which reminds me. I still have another part of those memoirs to do. Try and get that done before the 28th. Cheers.
 

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Its a brotherhood in wich we all all belong. Thank you for giving us your input. I remember those marines I encountered in Beirut. August/September 1982.😊
On that day in Beirut 242 Marines and sailors lost their lives. Most were Combat Engineers. As Monday approaches, Memorial Day in the United States thank you for your words Mark. Memorial Day we revere our war dead. It is a God Damned SHAME furniture companies think it is the day to hold their biggest sales of the year. Also, people always thank Veterans for their service, it IS NOT VETERANS DAY! It is as if it is yesterday I recall the loss of lives in my Battalion. EOD Company was hit very hard and they suffered the largest loss of life in all of my tours in Iraq. in one week alone, we had 4 killed in action.

I think of your mate that lost his life in the Kolwezi jump and I can draw a parallel to what happened in Fallujah where the bastards drug the body through the streets.

The Marine Corps has a very unique way for the conduct of the memorial service, yes, the boots, upside down rifle, and the helmet on the butt of the rifle but it is when the Battalion Commander orders the Sergeants Major to call the Roll:

Blanchard! Here Sergeant Major
Smith! Here Sergeant Major
Jones!! SILENCE
Gunnery Sergeant Jones!! SILENCE
GUNNERY SERGEANT JOHN A. JONES!!!!!! SILENCE
THEN THE ERUPTION OF THE FIRST VOLLEY OF FIRE, 7 ROUNDS
SECOND VOLLEY OF FIRE, 7 ROUNDS
THIRD VOLLEY OF FIRE, 7 ROUNDS
TAPS

I am not ashamed to admit, just writing that has tears rolling down my face. I am immediately brought back to the day(S).

This year alone the Legion and French Marines lost brothers. I am thinking of them this Memorial Day
 

jonny

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Mark you should write a book about your adventures or a book together with some members here like jonny, joe ..etc. maybe a chapter each. Remember i got a book out the Library here and it was a chapters with each German telling his own Legion story. was great .
Not a bad idea, I’m on! Saves me writing the whole bloody story myself, and probably be criticised afterwards for getting some dates wrong as well.
 
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Not a bad idea, I’m on! Saves me writing the whole bloody story myself, and probably be chriticised afterwards for getting some dates wrong as well.
I do think people would buy it... a book with good info & stories from you guys.
 

jonny

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Found this picture of ACH Hosteins on the web.
View attachment 5051
We had a very similar Adjudant-chef in 2e REP in Algeria, Robert Bethery.

LE CARNET : Décès de l’Adjudant-chef (er) Robert Bethery
Nous vous informons du décès de l’adjudant-chef (er) Robert Bethery, ancien du 2e BEP en Indochine et du 2e REP, officier de la Légion d’honneur, médaillé militaire, 11 citations et 3 blessures, survenu le 28 octobre 2016 à l’hôpital de Perpignan.
Ses obsèques religieuses ont eu lieu en l’église de Canet-Village à Canet Roussillon (66140) le lundi 31 octobre à 10h30.

My friend and hero. RIP.

Adjudant-chef Bethery only ever wore two ribbons, the Légion d’Honneur and the Médaille Militaire. Somehow we got a good raport together. One time when we were sharing a couple of beers around New Year’s Eve he told me about a time on the eastern front in Russia that he had celebrated the coming of the new year with a machine gun in one hand and a bottle of champagne in the other.
He always seemed to be looking after me as well, perhaps he saw a bit of his own rebellious younger in me, I don’t know, but there were some clues. One I like particularly, was one time in Phillippeville, with a big part of the regiment lined up for final inspections before heading into time for a bit of booze and debauchery on a Saturday evening. And the adjudant-chef started shouting that he knew very well what we would be up to in town, but when we came back to camp again, he would be waiting for us with his prison doors wide open. So better watch it you lot!
Then he caught his breath for a few seconds and shouted over the heads of all the legionnaires standing to attention: “Is that understood, Sho’an’sen?”
I clicked my heals together and shouted back “Oui mon adjudant-chef !”
Didn’t stop me from getting drunk in town, though, and nearly avoided getting caught by the legion MPs. But I was very proud of being singled out like that.
Still am, as a matter of fact. 😅😅
 

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The sinking of the HMS Hood in 1940, single greatest loss of life in the Royal Navy's history . More than 1600 sailors and Marines perished.
 

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