During the First Indochina War, the Foreign Legion was demanded by French military authorities to create a parachute unit to support French infantry forces operating in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos since 1946. In 1948, volunteers of the Legion regiments stationed in Indochina formed the first Foreign Legion airborne unit – the Parachute Company, attached to the 3e REI.
In October 1952, the Foreign Legion made a decision to create an independent heavy mortar unit. In 1954, there were three mortar units within the French Foreign Legion fighting in the First Indochina War. A parachute mortar company and the two infantry mortar companies composed of mixed elements: legionnaires and local anti-communist soldiers. These units used the 120mm heavy mortars. See history and a few images of the units.