Hodgepodge for November 2016

It’s amazing how quickly the days are passing as this cruel and amazing year draws to an end.  The Christmas Season has suddenly exploded; all over the stores, the TV, radio and internet.  My small town’s streets and shop windows are well decorated and the neighbor’s houses are aglow with thousands of twinkling lights and inflatable Santa Clauses.  Daylight has become scarce (despite the charade of Daylight Savings Time) and yet we still have leftovers from Thanksgiving in the fridge, not a single present has been bought and not a flake of snow has lasted more than a minute.  …and I’m a day late on this post.  Here are some of the random things related to the Foreign Legion that I found last month.

conactart1. The Legion was my Homeland.  This article appeared as one of several articles on the Foreign Legion found on Special-Ops.org.  It was written by Sean Burton and originally appeared in the Australian military magazine Contact (Issue 1, March 2004).  It relates a brief description of service in the Legion as experienced by an Australian named Shane.  Here is a .pdf.

2. French Involvement in Vietnam & Dien Bien Phu.  I saw this recently on YouTube.  This is a 26 minute documentary narrated by Walter Cronkite that neatly summarizes what is called the First Indochina War from December 1946 to August 1954.  There are several scenes that show the Foreign Legion in action.

3.  Another Inspirational Video Clip.  I really can’t keep up with the number of cool Foreign Legion videos that appear on YouTube.  I don’t think I posted this one yet–it’s really well done.

4. Flickr Photographs.  Here are some recent pictures that came up on Flickr.  The first ones are additions to this album posted by Hans-Michael Tappen.  The Son Tay monument appeared in a photostream by manhhai who has also shared hundreds of other vintage pictures of Vietnam.

5.  Facebook.  This is a useless app.  I really hate it.  Nonetheless, I’m increasingly getting pulled into this madness because so many of my family and friends are active there.  In fact, this blog, Monlegionnaire has a Facebook doppelganger.  For now it simply mirrors what I post here on the wordpress blog.  I did notice that there are many Foreign Legion related Facebook pages out there that need to be recognized.  So here are some of my favorites….  (more on this topic later as there seems to be a Facebook page for every Foreign Legion unit down to the company level as well as every recent Legionnaire who served or are still serving.)

French Foreign Legion: a Descriptive Bibliography

Foreign Legion Info

Légion Etrangère / French Foreign Legion

Collecting French Foreign Legion Badges

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
This entry was posted in Hodgepodge, Photographs, Video. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hodgepodge for November 2016

  1. Ricky Balona says:

    Hi Jack.
    Hope you are well bro. My best mate in the Legion was a tough Aussie guy called Ozzie. (Very original I know ) he was featured in a book about Ozzie’s in the Legion, a great guy who went home to my family on leave when we still stayed in Cape Town. We were in Mogadishu on December 9th when we landed with your Marines on the first day. There is a write up there when a plane came in as your Marines exploded captured ammo and the others opened fire on us as we were in the line of fire. We never returned fire but afterwards it was funny. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=270094203376867&set=pcb.556956597822933&type=3&theater


  2. Ricky Balona says:

    https://rickybalonabooks.com/australians-in-the-legion/ Hi Jack, sorry but some of the photos I tried sending you are from “Legion only” sites and don’t come through. The fourth or fifth
    pic is Sgt Brewster from ANGLICO, great guy but that was after they shot at us by mistake. My mate Ozzie had a little talk with him.


  3. Jack Wagner says:

    Nice pictures. I’m surprised the ANGLICO team were so jumpy on the trigger–they are usually hand picked, well trained and with more time in service than your average Marine. Also, thanks for the tip on this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ricky Balona says:

      The ANGLICO guys were really great, good soldiers. The incident was a simple mistake but both Ozzie and the Marine were hot heads. We all laughed about it later. The one Marine traded his commanding officers (Major) rank badges and insignia from his shirt which the Major carelessly left unattended for French ration packs with us. We also traded our ration packs for U.S. helmets and other equipment which the Marines “found” lying around. The ANGLICO guys stayed with us all the way to the western border.

      One weird thing we never understood was each time we secured even a remote village in the bush that had what might be called an airstrip ( simply a stretch of road or open field a small plane could land on) this light aircraft would land. Civilian markings on the plane with obviously ex-military looking types who would escort a well dressed civilian or two to see the headman of the village. About an hour later they would take off and we would see them landing again at the next place we took. No-one seemed to know who they were or what they were up to. I always wondered about that.


  4. frank says:

    Hi Jack, I have just recently ran across your great site on the Legion and for the last few days have been going through all of your posts and really enjoy reading the pulp fiction stories. As a collector of model soldiers, the legion stands tall with my small collection. When I ran across your info from Hatchette and the magazine put out with the figure, I was really impressed. My problem is that I can’t seem to get in touch with any of the mags. Is there a place in the US or do I have to deal with France or England. Could you point me in the right direction. Keep up with the great site I really enjoy all of the posts. thanks again Mgysgt Frank Cavanaugh USMC (retd)


    • Jack Wagner says:

      Thanks for the kind words Gunny. I have to purchase the Hachette magazines from France via eBay. Since the dollar is high against the euro the cost is a bit better but still high. Search for the key words… FASCICULE LEGION ETRANGERE and they should pop up. The seller also sells the figures. There are others as well.


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