Foreign Legion: 2021 Camerone Day

On April 30, as every year since 1931, the French Foreign Legion celebrated their most important holiday, Camerone Day. This day marks the anniversary of the Battle of Camerone, the famed action which occurred in Mexico 158 years ago, in 1863.

Annually, all officers and legionnaires of the Legion commemorate this eight-hour battle, in which a Foreign Legion company of 65 men faced almost 2,000 Mexican infantrymen and cavalrymen. The battle is portrayed as a pure example of bravery and determination of fighting to the finish. It became a crucial moment in history of the Foreign Legion, and a successful means of integration of men from around the world into the institution and their mental transformation into legionnaires.

Camerone Day is a two-day holiday for all members of the Legion. The celebrations are usually open for public as well. Nevertheless, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, 2021 Camerone Day (as the previous one) was once again celebrated intimately, within closed gates of the Legion units’ military bases.

As an inseparable part of the ceremony in Aubagne, the wooden hand of the company commander at Camerone in 1863, Captain Jean Danjou, is presented to public, usually carried by a former member of the institution. Assignment to carry the wooden hand is seen as the most deserved honor for any veteran of the Foreign Legion. This year, General Vittorio Tresti was appointed the official bearer of Captain Danjou‘s wooden hand. Born in Italy in 1939, he enlisted in the Legion in 1958, as a simple legionnaire. Corporal in 1960, sergeant in 1962 and second lieutenant in 1967, he served in Algeria, France, Corsica, Madagascar and French Guiana, where he commanded the 3e REI in 1987-1989. He retired in 1996 and was promoted to Brigadier general.

By Monday, May 3, only three units of the Legion have posted images from their Camerone Day, so, here they are:

Foreign Legion: 2021 Camerone Day - GRLE - Paris - Fort de Nogent
Fort de Nogent, Paris, April 30, 2021. Camerone Day for the Recruiting Group (GRLE).
Foreign Legion: 2021 Camerone Day - DLEM - Mayotte
Dzaoudzi, Mayotte, April 30, 2021. Camerone Day for the DLEM. Legionnaires are reviewed by their commanding officer, Colonel Latournerie.
Foreign Legion: 2021 Camerone Day - DLEM - Mayotte
Camp Larzac, La Cavalerie, April 30, 2021. Camerone Day for the 13e DBLE. Legionnaires are visited by Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, accompanied by General Burkhard, the head of the French Army and a former commander of the regiment. Left, the 13e DBLE’s current commanding officer, Colonel Aubry.
Foreign Legion: 2021 Camerone Day - General Vittorio Tresti
General Vittorio Tresti, who was appointed to carry Captain Danjou‘s wooden hand on 2021 Camerone Day in Aubagne. He joined the Legion as a simple enlisted volunteer in 1958.


Related posts:
Foreign Legion: 2020 Camerone Day
Foreign Legion: 2019 Camerone Day
VIDEO: 2019 Camerone Day in Aubagne
3e REI: Cross Camerone 2019