New Photo Album: Foreign Legion in Indochina 1949-1952

It took a little time but I finally scanned over 50 original photographs of the Foreign Legion that I purchased on eBay.  They are from a collection of pictures that belonged to a Legion Sergeant Major Simone Jacques (LM 25913) and were taken in various locations in French Indochina from 1949 to 1952.  There is little other information I have right now but once I figure out what the writing on the back says on some of these I’ll add my comments to the pictures posted to this album on Flickr.  I do know that several of these were taken in Cambodia (Phnom Penh) and in one picture you can see the 2/2 unit designation on one of the “lawn ornaments” (decorative landscaping the Legion is known for).  There are no combat snapshots and most seem to be taken in a garrison environment–just the spot for a Sergeant Major.  Thanks to the seller for explaining that the acronyms on the that reads “B.P.M. 409” is Boite Postale Militaire 409 and “T.O.E.” stands for Territory Extreme Orient.  If by chance you have any insight on these pics please let me know.

I’m pleased with the way most of these very small prints (some were slightly bigger than a postage stamp) were able to be scanned into some nice crisp images.  Some were blurry and I’ll have to re-scan & re-upload some other pictures that somehow had the right side cropped out.  I’m also happy that these are now available to the general viewing public where previously they were wrapped up in an envelope for perhaps many years.

About Jack Wagner

Retired Army.
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2 Responses to New Photo Album: Foreign Legion in Indochina 1949-1952

  1. Jerry Platt says:

    I just wanted to thank you for the most interesting images that you posted from Sergeant Major Simone Jacques’s collection. They really add a most interesting flavor to the dry histories that one usually comes across for the period. What is clear from the mélange of uniform items is that the Legion had not yet recovered from the wartime shortages! Incidentally, the regimental badge worn on the right pocket of the Legionnaire in image 513 does appear to me to be that of the 3 REI for the period 1945-47.
    I have been researching the French Indochina War for a prospective book and so am always looking for period images to supplement other materials–thanks again for the posting!


    • Jack Wagner says:

      Thank you Jerry. Glad you liked them. Please feel free to use any that might work with your research. It’s frustrating to look for distinctive unit insignia on these faded pictures but I think you are right on the 3REI for the chap you mention. There are some non-distinct rounded insignia worn by others in the group pictures as well. When I tried to see what regiments were in Cambodia I found that the 13DBLE was in Phnom Penh as well. The comments on the back of the photographs were not much help either as 90% were blank and the others were just some names of the people in the picture. The pedibike picture had Phnom Penh written on the back and image 490 had Saigon on the back (the flag bearer is Sgt Stanko 7th Co. 3rd “Peleton”).


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