GCPLEM: Foreign Legion Moroccan Motorized Company Group

The Foreign Legion Moroccan Motorized Company Group (Groupement des compagnies portées de Légion étrangère du Maroc, or GCPLEM, but also GCPLM) was formed on October 1, 1946, with their headquarters based in Agadir, a town in the south of Morocco. The unit was the direct successor to the Mounted and Motorized Company Group, 3e REI (1944-1946).

Under Lieutenant Colonel François Binoche, the group was composed of a command company and three motorized companies (13e CP, 14e CP, and 15e CP) which maintained order and security in their assigned area of operations: southern Morocco, western Algeria, and northern Mauritania.

The 13th Motorized Company (13e CP) was stationed at the Le Moal post in Foum El Hassan, which had been its garrison since the 1930s, when the company served there as the Automobile Mounted Company (CMA) of the 4e REI.

The 14th Motorized Company under Lieutenant Lacote had their headquarters located in the Captain Morel barracks in Taroudant, a town lying 50 miles (80 km) east of Agadir.

The 15th Motorized Company was based in Tiznit. This town is located 50 miles south of Agadir.

Like its predecessor between 1944 and 1946, the group continued to maintain order in southern Morocco, western Algeria and northern Mauritania. In January 1947, the 13e CP took part in an expedition to Taoudeni in the north of Sudan (present-day Mali), a well-known salt mining center. The expedition was led by Second Lieutenant Desjeux (who would become, in 1963, the last commander of the 5e REI in Algeria) and Lieutenant Colonel Binoche, head of the GCPLEM. On this occasion, the group tested one of the few all-terrain Latil trucks (type M7 T1), which had just been received.

However, the GCPLEM was a short-lived unit. Nine months later, on July 1, 1947, at the request of the group’s commanding officer, the companies were renumbered from 1 to 3 and the unit simplified its title to Foreign Legion Moroccan Motorized Group (GPLEM).

 

GCPLEM - GCPLM - 1947 - Foreign Legion - Motorized Company Group - Morocco - badge
The memorial badge, created in 1947 by Lieutenant Colonel Binoche for the GCPLEM veterans. The oval cogwheel with the ostrich represents the badge of the former CMA, 4e REI. The salamander reminds the original badge of the 3e REI and the origin of the group. The Koutoubia minaret of Marrakech reminds the 4e REI, the motherhouse of all three companies (prior to 1940). The grenade represents the Legion.

Motorized Company Group - Morocco - Lieutenant-colonel François Binoche
Lieutenant Colonel François Binoche, the only commander of the GCPLEM. He served in Morocco as a lieutenant with the 2e REI, between 1936 and 1939, then in France with the 11e REI. During the war, as a member of the Resistance, he lost an arm during a battle in 1944. He returned to the Legion to command the Moroccan Group.
GCPLEM - Groupement des compagnies portees - GCPLM - Legion etrangere - document
Today, the usual abbreviation for the name of this group is GCPLEM. However, as we can see in this old document from the late 1940s, another abbreviation was used – GCPLM.

 
 


La version française de cet article:
GCPLEM : Groupement des compagnies portées de Légion étrangère du Maroc

 
 
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Main information sources:
Képi blanc magazines
Michel Brun: A Foum El Hassan avec la 13e CPLE 1946-1947 (Képi blanc, 1996-1997)
Foreign Legion annual bulletins (1950s)
P. Cart-Tanneur + Tibor Szecsko: Le 4ème Etranger (Editions B.I.P., 1987)
Tibor Szecsko: Le grand livre des insignes de la Légion étrangère (S.I.H.L.E., 1991)
J. Brunon, G.-R. Manue, P. Carles: Le Livre d’Or de la Légion Etrangère (Charles-Lavauzelle, 1976)
Fanion Vert et Rouge
Google.com
Wikipedia.org

 
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Related articles:
Foreign Legion Algerian Motorized Group
1st Legion Saharan Motorized Company
2nd Legion Saharan Motorized Company
3rd Legion Saharan Motorized Company
4th Legion Saharan Motorized Company

 

 

The page was updated on: December 04, 2021

 

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