Today is the 159th anniversary of the famous Battle of Camarón (Bataille de Camerone) that took place this day in Mexico. It’s the most revered and celebrated commemoration in the Foreign Legion. For the first time in two years since Covid restrictions began attendance was open to the public for all Regimental celebrations and events. It is a day celebrated by Legionnaires no matter where they find themselves. The official event that includes the hand of Captain Danjou happens in Aubagne, France which is the headquarters of the Foreign Legion. YouTube videos are already up…here is a good overview and one here.
The designated Porteur de la Main is Captain Estoup. He is a veteran of the 1 REP who saw action in Indochina. He was made a Commander of the Legion of Honor on 29 April and on Camerone Day he was designated to walk up the “sacred path” with the wooden hand of Captain Danjou accompanied by a guard of legionnaires both retired and active: Chief Warrant Officer Heinrich Hartkopf (Retired), Chief Warrant Officer Saïd Ighir (Retired), Sergeant Lucien Veres and Chief Brigadier Magomed Moussaiev. During this ceremony the fallen legionnaires of the 1REP and other former parachutist legionnaires were honored.
According to the Captain Estoup’s book he refers to the First Parachute Regiment of the Legion (1REP) and honors it’s fallen members. The unit was disbanded for participation in a putsch against then President Charles DeGaulle. “This regiment (1REP) died on April 28, 1961 and on April 29, 2011, in Puyloubier, in front of the flag of the 1st REP exhumed from the crypt of Aubagne and entrusted to a guard of the 2nd REP, the Amicale des Anciens Parachutistes de la Légion Étrangère (Association of Former Paratroopers of the Foreign Legion) called the roll of the 751 men of the 1st BEP-1st REP, including 2 of its commanding officers, who had died for France in Indo-China and in Algeria from July 1, 1948 to April 30, 1961. And still, no Vietnamese name was included in the roll call because we have not been able to preserve the memory, individually, of the many auxiliaries who fell in our ranks in Indochina! Thirteen years of fighting. Two resurrections, one final death. …They will be honored on April 30th.”
More pictures here.
NOTE: I had to be away from the keyboard for most of today so I’m playing catch up. I still have a couple more posts to get to to celebrate Camerone Day so come back soon.