2nd Foreign Legion Transportation Company

The 2nd Foreign Legion Transportation Company, 519th Transportation Group (CTLE 2/519) was a Foreign Legion logistics unit organized in Algeria in 1949 to serve in then French Indochina. Based in Southern Vietnam, the main purpose of this company was to provide transportation of personnel and supplies by truck during the First Indochina War (1946-54). The CTLE 2/519 was dissolved in 1953.

Foreign Legion Transportation Companies in French Indochina 1946-54

 

2nd Foreign Legion Transportation Company

June – July 1949:
2nd Foreign Legion Transportation Company
2e Compagnie de Transport de Légion Etrangère (2e CTLE)

2e CTLE was established on June 1, 1949
– a transportation unit of the Foreign Legion
– organized at Sidi Bel Abbes (then HQ of the Legion in Algeria, North Africa)
– its purpose was to serve in French Indochina (Southeast Asia)
– it had to support French troops during the ongoing First Indochina War (1946-54)
– a conflict between the French and the Viet Minh
– Viet Minh was an independence movement of Ho Chi Minh

Lieutenant Rajko Cibic took command

  • Lieutenant Cibic was born in Slovenia in 1914
  • as a Yugoslavian, he joined the Legion in 1936
  • campaigns in Tunisia, France, Alsace
  • an officer in 1943, he was wounded in the Colmar Pocket in 1945
  • in 1946-48, he served with 2nd Battalion, 2e REI
  • Aug 1950 – Jun 1951, he commanded Armored Train, 2e REI in Northern Vietnam
  • in 1953-54, he served with 3rd Battalion, 3e REI
  • Captain Cibic left the French Army in 1957
  • he died in France in 2010

– 2e CTLE left Algeria in mid-June and landed in French Indochina in July 1949
– the unit was stationed at Camp Lyautey, Cholon
– Cholon was part of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City now)
– the city was located in Cochinchina (then title for Southern Vietnam)
– in Indochina, the company was reinforced by legionnaires already stationed there

– short after, an order to assign the unit to a transportation group
– the company will be redesignated

 

Legionnaire Transportation Company 2/519

August – September 1949:
Legionnaire Transportation Company 2/519
Compagnie Légionnaire de Transport 2/519 (CLT 2/519)

– in August, 2e CTLE was assigned to 519th Transportation Group
519e Groupe de Transport (519e GT)
– 519e GT was a French Army regular supply train battalion
– created in 1946, it was composed of HQ and three companies
– 519e GT was also headquartered in the Saigon area

August 1, 1949, 2e CTLE was redesignated and became CLT 2/519
– 2nd Legionnaire Transportation Company, 519th GT
– it means the unit became the 2nd Company of the 519e GT
– Lieutenant Cibic continued as its commander, until September

– CLT 2/519 was comprised of about 190 legionnaires
– they were devided into four platoons
– the company was equipped with GMC CCKW 353 cargo trucks
– it operated around 60 vehicles

– CLT 2/519 was used primarily to transport troops, material, ammunition, food, mails etc throughout Cochinchina

 

Foreign Legion Transportation Company 2/519

October 1949:
Foreign Legion Transportation Company 2/519
Compagnie de Transport de Légion Etrangère 2/519 (CTLE 2/519)

October 3, 1949, the company was renamed again
– it became 2nd Foreign Legion Transportation Company, 519th GT (CTLE 2/519)
– although assigned to the group, it served as an autonomous unit
– CTLE 2/519 was still placed at Camp Lyautey in Saigon

– CTLE 2/519 continued to transport troops, material, ammunition, food, mails etc throughout Cochinchina

1950 – 1953:
– in 1950-51, CTLE 2/519 was led by Captain Constantin Tchernomazenko

  • Captain Tchernomazenko was born in Russia in 1903
  • he joined the Legion in 1921
  • Sergeant Major with the 2e REI, he was promoted to officer in 1939
  • he made campaigns in Syria, Morocco, France, Germany
  • he made three deployments to French Indochina 1946-54
  • in 1954, Major Tchernomazenko was chief of all Legion logistics units
  • he left the Legion in 1961, after 40 years of service
  • he died in France in 1997

– in 1952-53, CTLE 2/519 was led by Captain Bonafos

– every month, the company logged tens of thousands miles/km of trasportation
– the company often supplied the outposts of the 13e DBLE (Half-Brigade) or 1er REC (Cavalry Regiment)

– during 1951-52, the company supported French troops, including legionnaires, in several military operations in Cochinchina and, later, also in Cambodia or Central Vietnam
– in 1953, it supported operations in Laos

– CTLE 2/519 was disbanded on July 31, 1953

 

CLT 2/519 - CLT 2 - Legionnaire Transportation Company - Insignia - Badge - Indochina - 1949
The insignia of CLT 2/519, created in 1949. It bears a cogged wheel (the symbol of French support train units), a pagoda as a symbol of French Indochina and the seven-flame grenade of the Legion. The badge also includes the Legion’s green & red colors.
CTLE 2/519 - CTLE 2 - Foreign Legion Transportation Company - Insignia - Badge - Indochina - 1950
The insignia of CTLE 2/519, created in early 1950. It also bears a cogged wheel, the seven-flame grenade of the Legion and the Legion’s green & red colors.
519e GT - 519 GT - Transportation Group - Insignia - Badge - Indochina - 1946
The insignia of the 519th Transportation Group, 519e GT. The CTLE 2/519 was assigned to this group (a French designation for motorized or provisional battalion) as its 2nd Company, though autonomous.
CTLE 2/519 - CTLE 2 - Foreign Legion Transportation Company - Fanion - Indochina - 1950
The fanion of CTLE 2/519. It bears, besides the company insignia, the title of the company in French and GT 519 + 2eme Cie (2nd Coy) acronyms.

 
 
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Main information sources:
More-majorum.de (Germans in French Indochina 1946-56)
Insignes Legion (Fr)

 
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See Foreign Legion’s other disbanded transportation units of Indochina:
1st Transportation & Headquarters Company
2nd Transportation & Headquarters Company
3rd Foreign Legion Transportation Company

 

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The page was updated on: October 26, 2017

 

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