PHOTOS: 3rd “Camerone” Company, 4e REI

Summer holidays are over and thus it’s time to share again some historical pictures of the French Foreign Legion. This time, those related to the pre-WWII 3rd Company, 4th Foreign Infantry Regiment (4e REI). A direct heir to the famous 3rd Company, 1st Battalion, Foreign Regiment that participated in the legendary 1863 Battle of Camerone.

This fact had been well-known among the 3rd Company 4e REI officers and legionnaires, at least since 1931 when an insignia with Camerone sign was created for the company. That fact was subsequently confirmed by a 1936 historical study dedicated to the origins of the Foreign Legion regiments and their battalions, written by then-Lieutenant Serge Andolenko, a Legion officer from Russia who 20 years later became colonel with the 5e REI. According to his study, the 1st Battalion, Foreign Regiment from Mexico became the 1st Battalion, 1st Foreign Regiment in Algeria in 1885, and eventually the 1st Battalion, 4th Foreign Regiment in Morocco in late 1920.

Following this study, in 1937, a new badge of the 3rd Company 4e REI was designed by Captain Marsol, the then commander. The badge used the shape of the 4e REI regimental insignia, and included symbols of the Medal of the Mexican Expedition.

3rd Camerone Company - 4e REI - Insigna - Insigne - 1937
The 3rd “Camerone” Company, 4e REI insignia created by Captain Marsol in 1937, using an immortal, popular design.

The new insignia became so popular that a new fanion was also made for the company with the same emblem. The badge would be worn also during WWII in France, where a significant number of 4e REI legionnaires participated in the formations of provisional regiments of the Legion. Later, it was worn in Senegal by members of the 3rd Company 4e DBLE (Demi-Brigade), a unit from 1941 that kept the traditions of the 4e REI disbanded in 1940.

In 1950, the badge was adopted by the GALE (Autonomous Group), an administrative unit supervising the Legion. Finally, in July 1955, following the dissolution of the GALE, the former insignia of the 3rd “Camerone” Company, 4e REI was taken over by the 1st Foreign Regiment to be utilized by this unit until nowadays.

PS: To see photos in original size, click on previews.

Related posts:
PHOTOS: 1963 2e REP training at Bou Sfer
PHOTOS: 2nd Motorized Company GPLEM in Taroudant, Morocco, in 1954
PHOTOS: 6e REI in Tunisia around 1950
PHOTOS: Algerian War 1954-1962