13 May 1944

13 May 1944

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13 May 1944




Allied troops capture St. Angelo and Castelforte, opening the road to Rome

Allied bridgehead over the Rapido river is expanded


Chinese troops recapture Suiping

The 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion (13e DBLE) was first constituted in February 1940 as the DBLMLE, a mountain light demi-brigade. The reason of this designation was to participate in the Winter War, taking place in cold Finland, to oppose the Soviet Union troops there. However, the war ended before the unit was ready to fight. In April 1940, as the 13e DBMLE at that time, it moved to Scandinavia to enter the WWII and fight the German forces occupying Norway. The 13e DBMLE participated in the Battle of Bjervik and Battle of Narvik there.

After the Norwegian Campaign ended, the unit devided into two parts. The first one was disbanded a few weeks later in Morocco, the second one became the 13e DBLE and participated in several battles and campaigns during the WWII as part of the Free French Forces – Battle of Keren, Syria-Lebanon Campaign, Battle of Bir Hakeim, Italian Campaign… The 13e DBLE participated also in the liberation of France in 1944-45. After the WWII, it participated in the First Indochina War and Algerian War.

In 1962, the 13e DBLE moved to Djibouti in the Horn of Africa for next 49 years. There, as a motorized regiment, it served a dual security and public works role and was involved in several overseas humanitarian interventions. In 2011, it left Djibouti and was placed in the United Arab Emirates. The 13e DBLE returned to France in June 2016.

For current information about the regiment, see 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

NOTICE: Please, take into account that this article was published already in 2015 and thus it waits in a line to be vastly improved. Thank you for your understanding.

13e DBMLE: Norwegian Campaign 1940

September 1939:
Second World War (WWII) started

February 20, 1940:
– a battalion was formed in Sidi Bel Abbes (HQ of the Foreign Legion at that time), Algeria
– it consisted of legionnaires from the Foreign Regiments Joint Depot and 1er REI

February 24, 1940:
– another battalion was established in Fez, Morocco
– the battalion was composed of legionnaires provided by 2e REI, 3e REI and 4e REI

March 1, 1940:
– the two battalions formed a new provisional unit
Foreign Legion Mountain Light Demi-Brigade (Demi-brigade Légère de Montagne de Légion Étrangère, DBLMLE) was established
– DBLMLE was constituted as a mountain warfare unit
– it was the only unit of the Legion to receive intense specialized mountain warfare training
– the unit would participate in the Winter War
– the war was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland in 1939–1940
– DBLMLE had a strength of about 2,100 men
– lieutenant-colonel Raoul-Charles Magrin-Vernerey (later nom de guerre/pseudonyme Ralph Monclar) took the leadership

– the battalion of Fez became the 1st Battalion of DBLMLE
– the battalion of Sidi Bel Abbes became the 2nd Battalion of DBLMLE

– a few days later, DBLMLE moved to Larzac, France to receive training

March 12, 1940:
– the Winter War ended
– cancellation of DBLMLE’s mission

March 27, 1940:
– DBLMLE was redesignated
– it became the 13th Foreign Legion Provisional Demi-Brigade (13e Demi-brigade de Marche de Légion Etrangère, 13e DBMLE)
– 13e DBMLE continued its training in France without specification of future deployment

April 1940:
– 13e DBMLE moved to the Belley region, France to be trained in mountain warfare

April-June 1940:
Norwegian Campaign
– on April 22, the 13e DBMLE was sent to Norway to fight against German forces
– 13e DBMLE was part of the French Expeditionary Force in Scandinavia (Corps Expéditionnaire Français en Scandinavie, CEFS)

May 13, 1940:
Battle of Bjervik

May 28, 1940:
Battle of Narvik
– 13e DBMLE was the main force to attack and recapture Narvik from the Germans
– the battle has been called as “the only victory of France 1939-1940”

June 7, 1940:
– Norwegian Campaign ended
– CEFS, including 13e DBMLE legionnaires, left Norway for France

June 22, 1940:
Armistice was signed between France and Germany
– it ended the Battle of France (May-June 1940)
– for France, WWII temporarily ended
– CEFS moved to Britain to be based in Trentham, a village near the city of Stoke-on-Trent

June 23-30, 1940:
– French military officer Charles de Gaulle made an appeal to resist the occupation

– general Charles de Gaulle escaped to Britain and called on the French to continue to resist the occupation of France
– he asked the French troops to join him and form the new French forces
– from 14,000 French troops (officers, NCOs and soldiers) stationed at Trentham, the vast majority rejected his appeal
– they decided to serve under the new pro-German French government headed by Marshal Pétain

– only some 1,300 French soldiers went with de Gaulle
– nearly 900 of them were legionnaires from the 13e DBMLE
– these legionnaires ran away from Germans to the Legion in the late 1930s due to political or racial reasons
– they did not want to return to France, now partially occupied by German forces and fully cooperating with Germany
– among these legionnaires, there were mostly former Spanish republicans, Poles, Czechs, Jews…

– the remaining legionnaires of 13e DBMLE left Britain for Morocco on June 30
– 13e DBMLE was disbanded on July 16, after it landed in Morocco and moved to Fez

The insignia of 13e DBMLE, created in 1940 by lieutenant Des Roberts. The insignia includes the unit motto More majorum (After the manner of our ancestors) and a Viking ship, as a symbol of the Scandinavian campaign (the ship has a Finland-flag-like sail, a remark on the original deployment plan). The legionnaires of DBLMLE at Foreign Legion HQ in Sidi-Bel-Abes, Algeria, ready to move to France to receive mountain training (March 3, 1940) Brest, France. The legionnaires of 13e DBMLE being reviewed by admiral Laborde, before heading to Norway (April 22, 1940). On the left, Lt Col Magrin-Vernerey (which became later colonel Monclar), the 13e DBMLE commander. Battle of Bjervik in Norway. German positions are bombarded by French Navy
(May 13, 1940)

13e DBLE: Second World War 1940-1945

July 1, 1940:
14e DBMLE was established in England
– 14e DBMLE was composed of legionnaires joining de Gaulle in late June 1940
– 14e DBMLE was based at Morval Camp near Farnborough, England
– Lieutenant Colonel Magrin-Vernerey (as Ralph Monclar, its false identity) took the leadership
– he was the ex-commander of 13e DBMLE

– 14e DBMLE became the first unit of the new French forces formed by de Gaulle
– the new forces became the Free French Forces (Forces Françaises Libres, FFL)

– later that year, the 14e DBMLE became the 14th Foreign Legion Demi-Brigade (14e DBLE)

August-December 1940:
– on August 30, FFL, including 14e DBMLE, left Britain for Africa

Battle of Dakar (also known as Operation Menace)
– the battle occurred between September 23-25
– an unsuccessful attempt to seize the capital of Senegal in the then French West Africa

– in October, FFL moved to Cameroon and later to Gabon

– in November, 14e DBLE was retitled
– on November 2, the unit became 13e DBLE

Battle of Gabon
– the battle occurred between November 8-12
– Free French Forces fought against the regular French Army forces
– they wanted to seize French Equatorial Africa

– in December, FFL moved to Eritrea
– the FFL forces were based in this country located in the Horn of Africa

February-April 1941:
Battle of Keren
– the battle took place in the Italian colony of Eritrea
– FFL troops defeated the Italian forces and captured around 10,000 Italian troops
– during the battle, the 13e DBLE seized the city of Massaouah (also known as Massawa)
– the city was seized on April 8

May 1941:
– 13e DBLE moved to Palestine and Syria to be based there

June-July 1941:
Syria-Lebanon Campaign
– the FFL fought alongside the Allies against the regular French forces of Vichy France
– the French forces included the Foreign Legion’s 6e REI
– legionnaires did not fight each other in reality, contrary to several statements

August 1941:
– 13e DBLE was based in Beirut, the capital of today’s Lebanon

September 16, 1941:
– Lieutenant Colonel Dimitri Amilakvari took command of 13e DBLE

  • Lt Col Amilakvari was an officer of Georgian origin, having left the Soviet union in 1922
  • he had served in the Legion since 1926
  • his brother Constantin Amilakvari also served in the Legion for a long period
  • Constantin left the Legion with the rank of Adjudant-chef (Sergeant Major)
  • during the WWII, he decided to serve the Vichy France, contrary to his brother Dimitri
  • in 1941, Constantin joined the Legion of French Volunteers Against Bolshevism (LVF)
  • LVF consisted of French volunteers being ready to fight alongside the German forces on the Eastern front against Soviet troops
  • seriously wounded in action in Russia, Constantin Amilakvari died in July 1943

October 1941:
– Free French Forces’ reorganization
– within the 13e DBLE, two other battalions (2nd + 3rd) were established
– since that time, the battalions were known simultaneously as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Foreign Legion Battalion (Bataillon de la Légion Étrangère, BLE), until the end of WWII

December 1941:
– 2nd + 3rd BLE moved to Egypt and Libya

May 26 – June 11, 1942:
Battle of Bir Hakeim in Libya
– Free French Forces, including the 13e DBLE, were defending the Bir Hakeim fortress against much larger German and Italian forces
– the German forces were commanded by the field marshal Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox

June 16, 1942:
3rd BLE was deactivated

October 23 – November 11, 1942:
Second Battle of El Alamein in Egypt
– the first major offensive of the Allies against the German and Italian forces since 1939
– the Allies, including the FFL + 13e DBLE (1st BLE), won the battle

October 24, 1942:
Lt Col Amilakvari was killed during the Second Battle of El Alamein

November 1942:
British-American invasion of French North Africa (Operation Torch)
– in November, landings in Morocco and Algeria
– all French forces in North Africa received an order to cease resistance
– on November 10, the French in North Africa joined the Allies

February 1943:
– 13e DBLE was administratively deactivated
– 1st + 2nd BLE became part of the 1st Free French Division (Division Française Libre, 1re DFL)

April – May 1943:
Tunisia Campaign

August 1943:
– FFL merged together with the French Army of Africa

April – June 1944:
Italian Campaign
– 1st + 2nd BLE participated in

August 1944:
Operation Dragoon
– the Allied invasion of Provence, southern France
– 1er BLE, 2e BLE were involved in
Foreign Legion Regimental Combat Team (RMLE) and 1er REC also participated in

October 1944:
– 3rd BLE was reactivated

October 1944 – February 1945:
Battle of the Vosges in France (October-November)
Colmar Pocket in Alsace, France (January-February)

March 1945:
– on March 1, 13e DBLE was reactivated

April 1945:
– operations in the Authion mountains of France and in Italy

May 8, 1945:
– in Europe, World War II ended
– in the Pacific, WWII ended on September 2

August 1945:
– 13e DBLE left France for Africa

1945 – 1946:
– 13e DBLE was based in Tunisia

14e DBMLE parading in London on Bastille Day (July 14, 1940) The Bren Gun Carrier (also known as the Universal Carrier) of 13e DBLE moving in Libya (1942) Lt Col Dimitri Amilakvari, the commander of 13e DBLE (1942). He was killed in Egypt during the Second Battle of El Alamein, in October 1942. A battalion of 13e DBLE being reviewed by general de Gaulle in Rome, Italy (June 28, 1944). Note the French 1935-pattern fortress troop khaki berets distributed to the 13e DBMLE legionnaires before deploying to Norway, as part of their “mountain” equipment. The khaki berets became the symbol of 13e DBLE during the WWII. 13e DBLE parading in Dijon, France (September 13, 1944) Nice, France. General de Gaulle decorating the flag of 13e DBLE with the Croix de Compagnon de la Libération award (April 9, 1945)

13e DBLE: First Indochina War 1946-1954

1945 – 1946:
First Indochina War started
– French Indochina reffers to French colonial territories in Southeast Asia
– in Indochina, a conflict started between the French and Ho Chi Minh
– Ho Chi Minh led the Viet-Minh (League for the Independence of Vietnam)
– Viet Minh was a nationalist and (later) pro-Soviet Union movement
– in September 1945, Ho Chi Minh declared independence from France for Vietnam
– clashes between French forces and the Viet Minh started
– in 1946, first Foreign Legion units landed in Indochina

February 1946:
– 13e DBLE left Africa for Indochina

March 10, 1946:
– 13e DBLE landed in Indochina
– it consisted of 3 battalions
– the unit was based in Cochinchina (the southern region of today’s Vietnam)
– its HQ was in Saigon

June 19, 1946:
– the first battle in Indochina for 13e DBLE
– the battle took place near Mat Cat

July 8, 1946:
– hard fighting near Cay Sop
– a platoon from 9th Company, 3rd Battalion participated in
– the company commander visiting the platoon was killed
– 28 legionnaires were also killed or wounded
– only two legionnaires were able to call for help

December 1946:
– 2nd Battalion moved to Annam (the central region of today’s Vietnam)

February-March 1947:
– operations in Annam
– the operations took place near Hue, Quang Tri and Tourane
– 2nd Battalion of 13e DBLE participated in

September-October 1947:
– pacification of Cambodia
– 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE eliminated Khmer rebels in Cambodia

February 1948:
Operation Vega in the Plaine des Joncs
– 1st + 3rd Battalion, together with 1er REC were involved in

March 1, 1948:
– Lt Colonel Brunet de Sairigne, the commanding officer of 13e DBLE, was killed
– Lt Col Brunet de Sairigne served in the Legion since 1939
– he served within the 13e DBLE all the time during the WWII
– he was the youngest regiment commander of the French Army (aged 33 when he took the leadership of 13e DBLE in 1946)

April 1948:
– hard fighting near Xuan An
– 2nd Battalion participated in

May-November 1948:
Arnaultville was built
– a new, large and modern HQ of 13e DBLE was built by its legionnaires in Saigon
– it was named after Lt Col Arnault, the new commanding officer of 13e DBLE, who decided to build the HQ

September 1949:
Operation Cobra
– 1st + 3rd Battalion were involved in

December 1949:
– 2nd Battalion returned to Cochinchina to join the rest of 13e DBLE

February 1950:
4th Battalion was established
– it was composed of Legion’s NCOs and anti-Viet-Minh volunteers from local population

September 1950:
– 4th Battalion conducted several operations near Tranh Loc, Tra On, Phuoc Loc

January-February 1951:
– 2nd + 3rd Battalion moved to Tonkin (the northern region of today’s Vietnam)
– 1st Battalion was involved in operations near Rach Tra, An Hoa, Tan Phu Trung

March 1951:
Operation Pamplemousse
– 4th Battalion participated in the operation which took place at Rach Nha Man

July-August 1951:
Operation Chenille
Operation Pentagone
Operation Tourbillon II

November 1951 – February 1952:
Battle of Hoa Binh

January 7, 1952:
– a new Camerone for 2nd Battalion
– the fights took place at Xom Pheo, near Hoa Binh
– two companies from the 2nd Battalion (some 250 men) were attacked by six battalions of Viet-Minh (around 5,000 men)
– the legionnaires succesfully defended their outposts

March 1952:
Operation Mercure
– 2nd + 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE participated in, together with 1er BEP

June 1952:
Operation Claudine in the Tien Thuan region
Operation Sandwich in the Co Trach region

August-September 1952:
Operation Sauterelle + Operation Caiman in central Annam
– 3rd Battalion moved to Annam to participate in the operations
5e REI and 1er REC also participated in the operations

October 1952:
– 3rd Battalion returned back to Tonkin
– hard fighting for 2nd Battalion near Ninh Binh

December 1952:
Operation Bretagne
– 2nd Battalion was involved in, together with two battalions from 2e REI

January 1953:
Operation Artois
– 2nd + 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE and two battalions from 2e REI participated in

February 1, 1953:
– 4th Battalion was disbanded

April-June 1953:
Operation Bearn
– 1st Battalion of 13e DBLE participated in
– the operation took place near Dau Tieng

September-October 1953:
Operation Brochet
Operation Mouette
– 2nd + 3rd Battalion were involved in the operations, together with 1er BEP and 2e BEP

– 1st Battalion moved to Tonkin

December 1953:
– 1st + 3rd Battalion were stationed at Dien Bien Phu
– Dien Bien Phu was a heavily fortified base with an airstrip deep in the hills of northwestern Vietnam

February 1954:
– hard fighting near Phu Lao and Dong Lieu for 2nd Battalion

March 13 – May 7, 1954:
Battle of Dien Bien Phu
– 1st + 3rd Battalion participated in the battle
– during the first hours of the battle, Lt Colonel Jules Gaucher, the commanding officer of 13e DBLE, died of wounds
– during the battle, both battalions of 13e DBLE were decimated and deactivated

May-July 1954 :
13e DBLE consisted of only one combat-ready battalion (the 2nd)

June 1, 1954:
– 3rd Battalion was officially disbanded

June 1954:
– 1st Battalion was reactivated

July 1954:
Operation Auvergne in the Delta
– hard fighting in the Luc Nam region
– 2nd Battalion was involved in

August 1954:
First Indochina War ended
– the war in Indochina ended on August 1
– France had to leave northern Vietnam
– in 1956, French troops had to leave the entire Indochina pensisula

October 1, 1954:
– 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE was reactivated
– the battalion was created by retitling the 3rd Battalion of 3e REI

May 1955:
– 13e DBLE, as the last French military unit, left Tonkin
– it moved to Cochinchina

June 1955:
– 13e DBLE left Asia for Africa, after 9 years spent in Indochina

– during the First Indochina War, 13e DBLE lost 80 officers (including 2 of its commanders), 307 NCOs and 2,334 legionnaires

Left, the smaller one of the two insignias of 13e DBLE created in Indochina in 1946. The bigger one had more 1940-insignia-like shape and included the motto Honneur Fidélite. These two 1946 insignias had a brief lifetime period. In 1947, the new insignia (center) was approved by Lt Col de Sairigné. The insignia includes the blue Cross of Lorraine, the symbol of Free France during WWII, and a dragon, the legendary symbol in Asian culture. The original insignia had its dragon winged. In later years, the insignia was simplified (right). Gabriel Brunet de Sairigné. The famous commander of 13e DBLE. He was attached as an officer to the 13e DBMLE before the regiment moved to Norway in 1940. Later in Britain, he joined the Free French Forces of de Gaulle and became an officer within the 14e DBMLE, later the 13e DBLE. In 1946, aged 33, he took the leadership of 13e DBLE and became the youngest French regiment commander. On 1 March 1948, he was killed during a Viet-Minh attack. 13e DBLE during an operation in the Plaine des Joncs (Plain of Reeds) on the Cambodian border (1947) The outpost of the 12th Company, 13e DBLE near Bao Trai of Cochinchina (1948) Legionnaires of 13e DBLE during a river patrol near Ca Mau, Cochinchina (1950) An officer of 13e DBLE with his khaki beret during the Battle of Hoa Binh (January 1952) An outpost of 13e DBLE at Song Moi during the Battle of Hoa Binh (January 1952) Beatrice at Dien Bien Phu. The strong point held by legionnaires from the 3rd Battalion of 13e DBLE. It was the first strong point attacked by the Viet-Minh during the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. The majority of legionnaires based at Beatrice, including their commanders, were killed or imprisoned during the attack (March 1954) Lieutenant Colonel Jules Gaucher, the commanding officer of 13e DBLE, is awarded by a French Minister of Defence René Pleven at Dien Bien Phu (February 19, 1954). In three weeks, the colonel Gaucher, aged 48, will be killed at Beatrice strong point during a Viet-Minh attack. Lt Colonel Gaucher had served in the Legion as an officer since 1931. With the Legion, he spent more than 10 years in French Indochina (1938-46, 1949-50, 1951-54).

13e DBLE: Algerian War 1955-1962

1954 – 1955:
Algerian War started
– in North Africa, local rebels intensified military actions
– these actions took part in Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria
– they were aimed at French forces presented in these regions
– the main rebel force fighting the French was the FLN
– FLN stands for National Liberation Front
– later in 1955, that operations escalated to the Algerian War

June-July 1955:
– 13e DBLE landed in Africa
– during June and July, the battalions of 13e DBLE returned to Africa from Indochina
– they were placed in Zeralda, Algeria

– 13e DBLE was the only unit of the Legion having to wait for determination of its future deployment

August-November 1955:
– 13e DBLE moved across Algeria and changed several provisional placements

November 1955:
– 13e DBLE was finally based in Khenchela, a town in the Aures Mountains of northeastern Algeria

    – HQ was based in Khenchela
    – Forward Operating Base (FOB) + 1st Battalion HQ were based in Taberdga
    – 2nd Battalion HQ was based in Babar
    – 3rd Battalion HQ was based in Kheirane

1956 – 1959:
– 13e DBLE was involved in military operations in the Aures and Nementchas mountains

January 1956:
Operation Extra Bravo in the El Ouldja region
– 13e DBLE participated in, together with 22e CPLE and 3e REI

– a month later, 22e CPLE became part of the Foreign Legion Algerian Motorized Group (GPLEA)
– Lt Col Jean Ange Rossi, the then 13e DBLE commander took the leadership of GPLEA a few months later, in May 1956
– Lt Col Rossi commanded the 13e DBLE since the Battle of Dien Bien Phu (after Lt Col Gaucher was killed) until April 1956
– he served in the Legion since 1946, within the 13e DBLE (7,5 years) and 6e REI (as a commander, 2 years)
– in June 1956, after its interim leadership of GPLEA, he left the Legion

September 1957:
– 13e DBLE was reduced to two battalions

    – HQ was based in Khenchela
    – 1st Battalion HQ was based in Bou Hamama
    – 2nd Battalion HQ was based in Edgar Quinet

December 1957:
Harka of 13e DBLE was established and based in Edgar Quinet
Harki (or Harka) was a loyal pro-French muslim Arab, attached as a volunteer to French Army units based in Algeria
– within the French units, Harkis made a group titled Harka, which was headed by the French or Legion cadres
– Harka of 13e DBLE was headed by lieutenant Robin Wrenacre, an England-born officer of Russian origin
– Harka was composed of around 200 men (officers, NCOs, Harkis) and some 45 horses

May 7, 1958:
– the local rebels leader Amrani Abderrahmane was killed
– after fierce fighting, a large group of FLN rebels was eliminated and its leader, wanted by 13e DBLE for two years, was killed
– 2nd Battalion conducted this operation, which took place near the Akkar mountain in the Aures Mountains

July 1958:
– rescue of Bambi
– a lonely starving small donkey was rescued by Harka of 13e DBLE
– a photo of a 13e DBLE member carrying the small donkey on his back became world-wide known
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals based in London sent a lettre to the Legion
– it thanked the Legion for that “demonstration of humanity
– the small donkey was given a name, Bambi, and became the mascot of 13e DBLE

October 1958:
– 13e DBLE moved to Batna
– 13e DBLE became an intervention force

February 1959:
– 13e DBLE was stationed in Bougie, Kabylie region, northern Algeria
– HQ of 13e DBLE was officially based in Bougie
– Bougie was planned to become a large, modern and comfortable headquarters
– in reality, the legionnaires of 13e DBLE spent only a few weeks in Bougie during next three years
– they participated in military operations and just some 80 legionnaires served in Bougie to build the base
– the base wasn’t yet completed, when 13e DBLE legionnaires had to leave it in 1962

July 1959:
Operation Etincelle

July-October 1959:
Operation Jumelles in the Hodna Range
– 13e DBLE and 1er REP (ex-1er BEP) participated in

November 1959 – January 1960:
Operation Emeraude
– the operation took place in the Collo, Philippeville and Guelma regions in the Aures Mountains
– 13e DBLE + 3e REI + 5e REI were involved in

– Forward HQ (FOB) of 13e DBLE was based in Bou Hamama

January-March 1960:
– restoring order in Algiers
– 13e DBLE was involved in an operation to restore order in Algiers, the capital of Algeria
– 1er REP and 2e REP (ex-2e BEP) also participated in
– the operation followed the Barricades week (Semaine des barricades)
– Barricades week were the anti-Gaulle demonstrations conducted by the French people living in Algiers

March-June 1960:
– 13e DBLE returned to Bou Hamama in the Aures mountains

June 1960 – July 1962:
Ligne Challe
– 13e DBLE, as many other Legion units, was placed on the Ligne Challe (Line Challe), on the Algerian border with Tunisia
– its mission was to guard this mined, electrified, floodlit defensive border line equipped with a barbed wire fance
– the border line prevented Tunisian and Algerian rebels from crossing the border to support FLN rebel forces
– the Ligne Challe constructed in 1958-59 sometimes doubled the Ligne Morice, finished in September 1957

– 13e DBLE was placed three times on the Line, in the Bec de Canard and Lamy regions
– whenever returning from the Line, 13e DBLE always moved back to Bou Hamama, after a short rest in Bougie

June-November 1960:
– 13e DBLE was placed for the first time on the Ligne Challe
– 13e DBLE Forward HQ (FOB) was based at Souk Ahras

February 1961:
Operation Dordogne in the Beni Melloul forest

April 1961 – July 1961:
– second placement on the Ligne Challe
– during the placement, a short operation back in the Kabylie region

January-June 1962:
– third placement on the Ligne Challe
– 13e DBLE was based at outposts in the Lamy region and in the Bec de Canard near the Tunisian border
– Forward HQ (FOB) was based at Hammam des Beni Salah

March 1962:
Algerian War officially ended
– Évian Accords treaty, signed on 18 March 1962, ended the Algerian War
– on July 5, Independence of Algeria was declared
– however, military operations were conducted until September 1962
– on September 25, the Algerian republic was established

– during the Algerian War, 13e DBLE lost 214 men

The insignia of Harka, attached to the 13e DBLE. Harka was composed of Harkis, pro-French Algerian muslims. The insignia was created in 1958 by lieutenant Wrenacre, an England-born officer of Russian origin and the first Harka commander. The insignia bears an inscription Algérie française (French Algeria) and its sign 8 (Harka no. 8). Algerian War. 13e DBLE during Operation Extra Bravo in the El Ouldja region, together with 3e REI and 22e CPLE (January 1956) A caporal of 13e DBLE with his friend (1956) Forward HQ (FOB) of 13e DBLE in Taberdga (May 1957) 13e DBLE during Camerone Day at airport of Khenchela (April 30, 1958) A rebel is surrendering to legionnaires in front of the Outpost Lieutenant Septavaux, based near Yabous and occupied by 3rd Company, 1st Battalion of 13e DBLE (June 1958). Lt Guy Joseph Gilbert Septevaux, an officer of the 1st Battalion, was killed during a rebel attack in Yabous in October 1957. Rescue of Bambi. The well-known image of a muslim harki (very often confused with a legionnaire), a member of 13e DBLE‘s Harka, carrying a small donkey. It was found, lonely and hungry, during an operation in the Edgar Quinet region. Taken to the base, the small donkey became a mascot of 13e DBLE, called Bambi. (July 1958) When Bambi became a world-wide sensation… The Legion was surprised by such a huge positive response all over the world. The Legion was also officially thanked by London-based RSPCA, the oldest and largest animal welfare organisation in the world. (August 1958) Legionnaires of 13e DBLE, wearing light-khaki berets, during an operation in the Djurdjura range (December 1958). The light-khaki berets were part of a combat uniform until 1959, worn in 13e DBLE and 1er REC. 13e DBLE patrolling in the Souk Ahras region, near the Algerian border with Tunisia (September 1960) Legionnaires of 13e DBLE during a rare leave at their HQ in Bougie. Bougie. The entrance of main headquarters of 13e DBLE and the 13e DBLE memorial placed within (1961). Bougie was planned to become a large and modern headquarters for 13e DBLE. However, due to lot of operations and works, it was never finished. Legionnaires used only barracks of HQ Company (CB) for their accomodation during a leave or holidays. In total, they spent only several weeks in Bougie between 1958-1962. Bou Hamama. A French joint base in the Aures mountains. Several French units were placed within, including Forward HQ (FOB) of 13e DBLE (1961) A very rare image of a hard-working legionnaire with the light-khaki beret at FOB of Bou Hamama in 1961, two years after these berets became irregular. An ancien, long-serving legionnaire of 13e DBLE during his duty in Bou Hamama (1961) One of the outposts of 13e DBLE placed in the Bec de Canard (Duck beak), a region in northeastern Algeria, on the border with Tunisia (March 1962) Algiers. The 3rd Company of 13e DBLE ready to leave Algeria for French Somaliland (April 29, 1962)

13e DBLE: Djibouti 1962-2011

April-May 1962:
– 13e DBLE started to move itself to Djibouti

– Djibouti is a country located in the Horn of Africa, bordered by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia

– 3rd + 6th Company of 13e DBLE left Algeria for French Somaliland (Côte française des Somalis), today’s Djibouti
– the companies became the 3rd + 2nd (ex-6th) Provisional Company (Compagnie de Marche) of the 13e DBLE’s Provisional Battalion
– in Djibouti, the 2nd Company of Foreign Legion Madagascar Battalion (BLEM) became the 1st Company of 13e DBLE
– the company of BLEM had been stationed in Djibouti, at Oueah, since March 1961
– BLEM’s 2nd Company was the very first unit of the Legion stationed in this country

April 9, 1962:
– Harka of 13e DBLE was disbanded

July 1962.
– 13e DBLE was reorganized and reduced
– the regiment withdrawn from the Ligne Challe outposts based on the Tunisia border
– 13e DBLE was reduced to only four combat companies
– two companies were already stationed in French Somaliland (Djibouti)
– two combat companies were placed at 13e DBLE HQ in Bougie
– the companies placed in Bougie consisted of elements being medically fit to deploy to Djibouti
– the rest of 13e DBLE men were transferred to other regiments of the Legion

October 1962 – 13e DBLE was fully stationed in French Somaliland

    HQ & Support Company (CCAS) – stationed in Gabode, near Djibouti City, the capital
    – 1st Company (ex-BLEM company) – stationed in Oueah
    – 2nd Company (ex-6th Company) – stationed in Obock
    – 3rd Company – stationed in Ali Sabieh
    – 4th Company (ex-Motorized Company) – stationed in Holhol (or Holl-Holl)

– in Djibouti, the 13e DBLE served a dual security and public works role

August 25, 1966:
– riots in Djibouti City
– riots occurred in the capital during the visit of the French president de Gaulle in Djibouti
– 11 legionnaires were injured while being sent to restore order
– the riots lasted several days
– on August 30, the French government offers independence to French Somaliland to calm the situation

June 1967:
– French Somaliland became the French Territory of the Afars and the Issas (TFAI)

January 1968:
– 2nd Company left Obock and moved to Arta

February 1968:
Reconnaissance Squadron (Escadron de Reconnaissance, ER) was established
ER was composed of vehicles and elements transferred from 1er REC and 2e REI (the unit disbanded in January 1968)
– the squadron was based in Oueah, instead of the 1st Company
– 1st Company moved to Dikhil

– 2nd Company was disbanded in Arta

February 1970:
2nd Construction Company (2e Compagnie de Travaux, 2e CT) was established
2e CT was based in Gabode, within the 13e DBLE HQ

October 1974:
Rotational Company (Compagnie Tournante) was established
– 13e DBLE were reinforced by a rotational company, consisted of legionnaires from 2e REP
– 2e REP sent periodically one of its companies to Djibouti for the Short Period Mission (Mission de Courte Durée, MCD)
– the mission lasts usually 4-6 months and during the mission, 2e REP helped to fulfil the tasks of 13e DBLE
– 2e REP legionnaires guarded the Djiboutian border with Ethiopia and were trained in desert warfare
– the Rotational Company was based in Gabode, together with 13e DBLE HQ and 2e CT

February 4, 1976:
1976 Loyada Hostage Rescue Mission
– a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission
– 2e REP + 13e DBLE participated in a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission in Loyada, a Djibouti-Somalia border town
– a Somali FLCS guerrilla group hijacked a bus carrying 31 French children in Djibouti City and drove it to Loyada
– 2nd Company of 2e REP (13e DBLE’s Rotational Company) + ER of 13e DBLE were sent to rescue the children
– 2e REP legionnaires conducted a frontal attack
– all 7 hijackers were killed
– 2 of 30 children died, a 2e REP platoon commander was injured during the attack

May 24, 1976:
GOLE helicopter crash
– a military helicopter crash occurred in Djibouti during a training mission
– six men from the Foreign Legion Task Force (GOLE) were killed

June 27, 1977:
Independence of Djibouti
– the TFAI territory became independent as Djibouti (or Republic of Djibouti)

July 1977:
– reorganization of 13e DBLE
– 1st Company moved to Obock and in August, it launched the Amphibious Center there
– 3rd Company moved to Gabode
– Rotational Company was deactivated

August 1978:
– 1st Company of Obock was disbanded
– a new Amphibious Center of 13e DBLE was established at Arta-Plage (Centre Amphibie d’Arta, CAA), moved there from Obock

October 1978:
– Rotational Company of 13e DBLE was activated
– it was based in Arta and in the Amphibious Center at Arta Plage

October 1979:
– 4th Comapny was disbanded
– 3rd Company became specialized in different combat techniques

Grand Bara race was born
– the run sponsored by the 13e DBLE took place in the vast Grand Bara Desert near Dikhil, Djibouti
– in later years, the race became international
– U.S. soldiers, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force, Djiboutian soldiers and nationals or runners from around East Africa participated in, till its last session in 2011

– CAA became the Arta Beach Commando Training Center (Centre d’Entraînement Commando d’Arta Plage, CECAP)
– the center was used by the Legion, French Army forces and later also by US soldiers

February 1982:
Mont Garbi accident
– an aviation accident in Djibouti
– 27 men from 2e REP + 3 members of 13e DBLE were killed

December 1985:
Operation Bioforce

Operation Godoria

1992 – 1993:
Operation Oryx + Operation Onusom II in Somalia

1992 – 1995:
Operation Iskoutir

Operation Turquoise in Rwanda + Operation Diapason in Yemen

– 2e CT (2e CAT at this date) was disbanded
Engineer Company (Compagnie de Génie, CG) was activated
CG was a rotational company, comprising a company either from 6e REG (which became the 1er REG in 1999) or 2e REG (since 1999)

– 3rd Company of 13e DBLE was disbanded
Infantry Company (Compagnie d’Infanterie, CI) was established
CI was a rotational company, comprising a company either from 2e REP or 2e REI

Maintenance Company (Compagnie de Maintenance, CM) was attached to 13e DBLE
– it was a mixed company consisted of regular French Army unit elements and legionnaires

Operation Licorne in Ivory Coast

Operation Beryx in Indonesia

– mission in the Central African Republic

– CECAP became the Arta Beach Combat Training Center

June 13, 2011:
– 13e DBLE officially left Djibouti

– 13e DBLE left Djibouti after more than 49 years of its presence there

– ER squadron was disbanded
– CG engineer company was also disbanded

Holhol. The outpost of the 4th Company of 13e DBLE in Djibouti (1960s) Obock. The outpost of the 2nd Company of 13e DBLE in Djibouti (October 1962) Ali Sabieh. The outpost of the 3rd Company of 13e DBLE in Djibouti (October 1962) Legionnaires from the 3rd Comapny are building a road near Ali Sabieh (November 1962) 2nd Comapny during a ceremony in Obock (February 1963) 13e DBLE during its first Bastille Day Parade realized in Djibouti (July 14, 1963) 3rd Comapny of 13e DBLE during a reconnaissance mission in Djibouti (July 1965) VLRA 4ࡪ vehicles passing the new entrance of the Ali Sabieh outpost of the 3rd Comapny (1966) The new outpost of the 2nd Comapny in Arta (1968) Oueah. The outpost of the Reconnaissance Squadron of 13e DBLE (1970) 13e DBLE legionnaires during a MILAN exercise (1976) Future caporals during their Corporals course in Djibouti (1977) 13e DBLE formed the Legion seven-flame grenade with its vehicles in the Grand Bara Desert, during a commemoration of the 38th anniversary of its creation (March 15, 1978) 3rd Company of 13e DBLE became specialized (e.g. snipers, frogmen, explosive specialists were part of the company) (1979) Heavy Mortar Platoon (SML) of 13e DBLE during its first exercise (September 1981) A legionnaire of 13e DBLE improving the headquarters of his unit during Operation Oryx in Somalia (December 1992) Grand Bara 15km race. The race was managed by 13e DBLE at Grand Bara desert, Djibouti, between 1982-2011 (December 2009) The CECAP (Combat Training Center, formerly Commando Training Center) at Arta Plage, Djibouti (2010). The 13e DBLE had run the center for 33 years, since August 1978. In June 2011, the last participants (from 2e REI) went through the stage commando. Compagnie Genie of 13e DBLE during a parade at Gabode HQ, Djibouti (2010) An ERC-90 Sagaie armored vehicle from ER squadron of 13e DBLE during an exercise in Djibouti (2010) 13e DBLE during the leaving ceremony, before its departure to France (June 13, 2011)

13e DBLE: United Arab Emirates 2011-present

August 2, 2011:
– 13e DBLE was officially based in the United Arab Emirates
– 13e DBLE was reduced to some 55-60 permanent officers, NCOs and legionnaires (rotated every 2-3 years) + 10-15 French military personnel
– around 210 men (legionnaires + regular French military elements) are serving within rotational units (rotated every 4-6 months)
– 13e DBLE was based at the Zayed Military City near Adu Dhabi, the capital

2011 – 2015:
– 13e DBLE became a support + training + task force unit
– 13e DBLE operates the Middle East Familiarization & Combat Training Center (CECAM)
– the center provides desert + urban warfare training
– simultaneously, the 13e DBLE also fulfils its mission as the Joint Task Force 13 (Groupement Tactique Interarmes 13, GTIA 13)
GTIA 13 participates in military drills alongside UAE Armed forces

Operation Chammal in Iraq

13e DBLE during a ceremony in their new HQ at the Zayed Military City, United Arab Emirates (June 2012) The CAESAR self-propelled howitzer detachment of 13e DBLE during an exercise in the United Arab Emirates (2014) Legionnaires from the rotational company of 13e DBLE during an exercise in the combat training center (CECAM) near their HQ, United Arab Emirates (2014)

Siegfried Freytag. A German Luftwaffe officer, who became a fighter ace during the World War II and was decorated with the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Crosses. In 1952 (aged 32), he joined the Foreign Legion. He was attached briefly to the 5e REI, than to the 13e DBLE. Siegfried Freytag served with his unit in the First Indochina War and in the Algerian War. In 1962, he moved with the Demi-brigade to Djibouti, where he served until 1965. In 1965, after 12 years spent within the 13e DBLE, the Caporal-chef Freytag was transferred to the 1e RE for next five years. He left the Legion in 1970 and moved to the Legion’s Veterans Institution at Puyloubier. He had never spoken of his past. But he was recognised in Puyloubier by retired German legionnaires who served also in the WWII and they helped him to get his German veteran pension and all his awards. He died in June 2003 and was buried with his Knight’s Cross at Legion’s cemetery of Puyloubier, with the attendance of German WWII veterans and German officials.

For current information about the regiment see 13th Demi-Brigade of the Foreign Legion

13 May 1944 - History

Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Statement by the Western foreign ministers, on allied rights in Berlin, May 13, 1950, p. 66 PDF (395.1 KB)

Declaration by the Western foreign ministers, on free elections, May 14, 1950, pp. 66-67 PDF (811.8 KB)

This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright

© This compilation (including design, introductory text, organization, and descriptive material) is copyrighted by University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.

This copyright is independent of any copyright on specific items within the collection. Because the University of Wisconsin Libraries generally do not own the rights to materials in these collections, please consult copyright or ownership information provided with individual items.

Images, text, or other content downloaded from the collection may be freely used for non-profit educational and research purposes, or any other use falling within the purview of "Fair Use".

In all other cases, please consult the terms provided with the item, or contact the Libraries.

KING Genealogy

WikiTree is a community of genealogists growing an increasingly-accurate collaborative family tree that's 100% free for everyone forever. Please join us.

Please join us in collaborating on KING family trees. We need the help of good genealogists to grow a completely free shared family tree to connect us all.


The Battles on Luzon, Philippine Islands

On 15 December 1944, landings against minimal resistance were made on the southern beaches of the island of Mindoro, a key location in the planned Lingayen Gulf operations, in support of major landings scheduled on Luzon. On 9 January 1945, on the south shore of Lingayen Gulf on the western coast of Luzon, General Krueger's Sixth Army landed his first units. Almost 175,000 men followed across the twenty-mile beachhead within a few days. With heavy air support, Army units pushed inland, taking Clark Field, 40 miles northwest of Manila, in the last week of January.

Two more major landings followed, one to cut off the Bataan Peninsula, and another, that included a parachute drop, south of Manila. Pincers closed on the city and, on 3 February 1945, elements of the 1st Cavalry Division pushed into the northern outskirts of Manila and the 8th Cavalry passed through the northern suburbs and into the city itself.

As the advance on Manila continued from the north and the south, the Bataan Peninsula was rapidly secured. On 16 February, paratroopers and amphibious units assaulted Corregidor, and resistance ended there on 27 February.

Despite initial optimism, fighting in Manila was harsh. It took until 3 March to clear the city of all Japanese troops. Fort Drum, a fortified island in Manila Bay near Corregidor, held out until 13 April, when a team went ashore and pumped 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel into the fort, then set charges. No Japanese survived the blast and fire.

In all, ten U.S. divisions and five independent regiments battled on Luzon, making it the largest campaign of the Pacific war, involving more troops than the United States had used in North Africa, Italy, or southern France.

13 May 1944 - History

Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Letter from the United States commandant in Berlin to the chairman of the Soviet Control Commission, on free elections, May 25, 1950, pp. 69-70 PDF (855.0 KB)

This material may be protected by copyright law (e.g., Title 17, US Code).| For information on re-use see: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright

© This compilation (including design, introductory text, organization, and descriptive material) is copyrighted by University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents.

This copyright is independent of any copyright on specific items within the collection. Because the University of Wisconsin Libraries generally do not own the rights to materials in these collections, please consult copyright or ownership information provided with individual items.

Images, text, or other content downloaded from the collection may be freely used for non-profit educational and research purposes, or any other use falling within the purview of "Fair Use".

In all other cases, please consult the terms provided with the item, or contact the Libraries.

13 May 1944 - History

As follows is a transcript of the monthly report from the 603rd Squadron to the 1st Bombardment Division. Many names are mentioned in the report. You may wish to use your web browser's Find Command to search for a particular individual. If you are unsure about the spelling, try the first few letters.

Air Force
1st Bombardment Division
1st Combat Bombardment Wing (H)
398th Bombardment Group (H)

Period Covered from May 1, 1944 to May 31, 1944
Prepared by
David M. Hall, 1st Lt., A.C.

Squadron History
603rd Bombardment Squadron (H)

May 6, 1944

The 603rd Squadron flew the first mission to Sottevast, France.

Major Judson F. Gray, Commanding Officer, Captain Meyer C. Wagner, Captain Unite L. Brodin and Lt. Robert L. Hopkins, Flight Commanders participated.

All ships from the entire 398th Group returned.

List of Crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

The following men were promoted from Flight Officer to 2nd Lieutenant:

  1. Clifford Z. Bryan
  2. Donald E. Rush
  3. Arthur Silverman
  4. Carl O. Turner
  5. William J. Vanderlick
  6. Theodore N. West
  7. Raymond A. Winkler

Four other officers were notified of their promotions which were dated in April:

  1. Wilbur G. Fisher to 1st Lieutenant effective April 13
  2. Unite L. Brodin to Captain effective April 13
  3. Kirkland C. Krueger to Captain effective April 13
  4. Arthur Kenny to Captain effective April 19

May 8, 1944

Lt. Robert L. Hopkins (and crew) and Captain Meyer C. Wagner, Jr. flew on the 398th Groups second mission to Berlin, Germany.

Editor’s Note
  1. Lt. Hopkins was a spare and returned to base.
  2. Captain Wagner flew as CA with D.E. Ross of 602nd Squadron as Deputy Lead.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 9, 1944

Captain Unite L. Brodin and Lt. R.L. Hopkins flew on this mission to St. Dizier, France.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 11, 1944

Captain K. Krueger, J.G. Davidson, R.L. Hopkins, S.P. Cullinan, W.J. Durtschi, T. Foster, and LS. Lassegard and crews went on mission to Sarreguemines, France.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 12, 1944

Captain Unite L. Brodin, Lt. T.K. Foster, Lt. D.L. Foster, Lt. W.S. Dwyer, Lt. H.H. Latson, Jr., Lt. Fisher, Lt. L.S. Lassegard participated in a mission to Lutzkendorf and Leuna, Germany

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 13, 1944

Captain Unite L. Brodin, Captain K.C. Krueger, Lt. S.P. Cullinan, Lt. J.C. Novak, Lt. W.F. Scott, and Lt. W. Durtschi (and crews) flew a mission to Sralsund, Germany.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 19, 1944

Major Judson F. Gray led one of two groups of Flying Fortresses to Berlin. He flew with Captain J.G. Davidson and his crew. Others going along on the mission include: Captain M.C. Wagner, Jr. who went with Captain K.C. Krueger and his crew, Lt. R.L. Hopkins, Lt. W.S. Dwyer, Lt. H.H. Latson, Jr., Lt. W.E. Engle, Lt. V.K. Stoll, Lt. W.G. Fisher, Lt. F.C. Fahrenthold, Lt. S.P. Cullinan, Lt. T.K. Foster (and crews).

Editor’s Notes
  1. Major Gray was the Low Group Lead.
  2. Captain G.F. Davidson, Squadron Lead Navigator was with Major Gray.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 21, 1944

In the early hours of the morning, approximately 03:45 an unidentified German plane strafed our infield and hit a bomber – 053 belonging to the Squadron. The damage was slight and no one was hurt.

Note: The full numbering for this aircraft is: 42-107053 N7-M

May 22, 1944

The target for today was Kiel, Germany.

The following crews lead the Group in the mission: Captain Unite L. Brodin, Captain M.C. Wagner, Jr. who flew with Captain K.C. Krueger and his crew, Lt. W.J. Durtschi, Lt. W.S. Dwyer, Lt. D.L. Foster, Lt. V.K. Stoll, Lt. W.E. Engle, Lt. W.F. Scott, Lt. T.K. Foster, Lt. H.H. Latson, Jr.

Editor’s Note

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 23, 1944

Lt. Anthony J. Jellen was the first officer of the Squadron to complete six missions over enemy territory. He is now eligible for the Air Medal. Lt. Jellen is the Navigator on the R.L. Hopkins crew.

Target: Woippy, France. Crews: Lt. R.L. Hopkins, Lt. W.E. Engel, Lt. H.H. Latson, Jr., Lt. W.S. Dwyer, Lt. F.C. Fahrenthold, Lt. J.C. Novak, Lt. T.K. Foster.

May 24, 1944

Major J.F. Gray with Captain Brodin and his crew led the Group to Berlin, Germany. Others in the same raid include: Captain M.C. Wagner, Jr. who flew with Lt. V.K. Stoll and his crew, Captain J.G. Davidson, Lt. L. Lassegard, Lt. W.J. Durtschi, Lt. W.F Scott, Lt. J.C. Novak, Lt. D. Foster, Lt. W.E. Engel, Lt. F.C. Fahrenthold, Lt. H.H Latson, Jr.

Major Gray and Captain Brodin (and crew) hit by flak in the target area and were last reported spiraling to earth. When Major Gray’s ship (No. 231-A) went down just before reaching the actual target, Captain M.C. Wagner, Jr. - flying lead ship of the second element - took over the lead position immediately and very capably took over duties of the lead ship, dropped the bombs on the target and led the formation home.

Each and every member of the 603rd Squadron deeply respected and admired Major Gray and all those men who were lost with him. Major Gray had proven himself a fine Commanding Officer.

Those members missing in action over the target are:

Name Home Town Position
1 Major Judson Gray Franklin North Carolina [CA on this mission, probably in Co-Pilot seat. Major Gray was the Squadron Commanding Officer]
2 Captain Unite L. Brodin, Clitherall, Minnesota [Pilot]
3 Captain Gordon F. Davidson Sheridan, Missouri [Squadron] Navigator
4 Lt. Louis C. Haberman 1115 Main Street, La Crosse, Wisconsin Navigator
5 Lt. Paul W. Voehringer Ballston Spa, New York Bombardier
6 Lt. Jerome T. Jans 2149 Wesley Avenue, Evanston, Illinois Co-pilot who rode the Tail Gun position
7 Technical Sergeant Leroy Elton Goodlett, Texas Top Turret Gunner [Engineer]
8 Technical Sergeant Bernard Rochford 14 Florida St., Akron, Ohio Radio Operator
9 Staff Sergeant Peter D. Carrado Clapboard Hill, Guilford, Connecticut Ball Turret
10 Staff Sergeant Simon P. Stizzo 322 Fig Street, Roseville, California Right Waist Gunner
11 Technical Sergeant Marlin Woodward 802 Avenue D, Lubbock, Texas, Engineer and Left Waist Gunner

Editor’s Notes
  1. Lt. Jerome T. Jans, T/Sgt. Leroy Elton, and T/Sgt. Bernard Rochford became Prisoners of War. The other 8 men were killed in action.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 25, 1944

Crews were: Lt. R.L. Hopkins, Lt. W.F. Scott, Lt. W.G. Fisher, Lt. W.S. Dwyer, Lt. V.K. Stoll, and Lt. J.C. Novak.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 26, 1944

Colonel Frank P. Hunter, Jr., Group Commanding Officer, called a meeting for all Squadron personnel to notify us that Major Robert K. Simeral is the new Commanding Officer, replacing Major Judson F. Gray. Major Simeral to this date has been Group Operations Officer. The news of our new C.O. was favorable to all.

Lt. Vonnerlin Wernecke was made Squadron Navigator replacing Captain Gordon F. Davidson. Lt. Wernecke formerly was the Navigator with the Lt. L.S. Lassegard crew.

Editor’s Notes
  1. Major Judson F. Gray, 603rd Squadron Commanding Officer and Captain Gordon F. Davidson, 603rd Squadron Navigator were killed in action on the May 24, 1944 mission to Berlin. Though at the time, they were probably only known to be missing in action.

May 27, 1944

The target for today: Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The crews who flew were Captain J.G. Davidson, Lt. F.C. Fahrenthold, Lt. L. Lassegard, Lt. S. Cullinan, Captain K. Krueger, Lt. W.G. Fisher, and Lt. V. Stoll.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 28, 1944

The crews who went on this mission were: Captain M.C. Wagner, Jr., who flew with Lt. S.P. Cullinan and his crew, Major Robert K. Simeral who flew with Lt. R.L. Hopkins and his crew, Lt. W.G. Fisher, Lt. W.J. Durtschi, Lt. W.F. Scott, Lt. W.S. Dwyer, and Lt. T.K. Foster.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 29, 1944

The following crews made this long mission which necessitated many hours on oxygen: Captain J.G. Davidson, Lt. S.P. Cullinan, Lt. J.C. Novak, Lt. H.H. Latson, Jr., Lt. F.C. Fahrenthold, and Lt. W.E. Engel.

List of crews. [Not transcribed at this time.]

May 30, 1944

The crews penetrated Germany again today, the target being Dessau. Although today is Memorial Day, there is still no let-up of dropping bombs on the Nazis.

An old missionary student of China once remarked that Chinese history is &ldquoremote, monotonous, obscure, and-worst of all-there is too much of it.&rdquo China has the longest continuous history of any country in the world&mdash3,500 years of written history. And even 3,500 years ago China&rsquos civilization was old! This in itself is discouraging to the student, particularly if we think of history as a baffling catalogue of who begat somebody, who succeeded somebody, who slew somebody, with only an occasional concubine thrown in for human interest. But taken in another way, Chinese history can be made to throw sharp lights and revealing shadows on the story of all mankind&mdashfrom its most primitive beginnings, some of which were in Asia, to its highest point of development in philosophy and religion, literature and art.

In art and philosophy, many people think, no culture has ever surpassed that of China in its great creative periods. In material culture, though we think of the roots of our own civilization as being almost entirely European, we have also received much from Asia&mdashpaper, gunpowder, the compass, silk, tea, and porcelain.

We Were Once the &ldquoBackward&rdquo Ones

There is nothing like a brief look at Chinese history to give one a new and wholesome respect for the Chinese people. We are likely - today to think of the Chinese as a &ldquobackward&rdquo people who are less civilized than we are, and it is true that in what we carelessly speak of as civilization&mdashmechanization and the fruits of scientific discovery&mdashthey have, in the last hundred years, lagged behind the procession and are only beginning to catch up. There are reasons for this temporary backwardness which we will take up later. It is wholesome to realize, however, that this attitude of superiority on the part of Western nations has existed for only about a hundred years.

Until the Opium War of 1840&ndash42 the European merchants and voyagers who reached the distant land of China had looked upon the Chinese with a good deal of awe as a people of superior culture. They still had much the same attitude as Marco Polo, who, in the thirteenth century, had told the people of Italy that China under the rule of the Mongols had a much more centralized and efficient system of government than European countries had. Coming from the banking and trading city of Venice, he admired the wide use of paper money in China. To a Europe which had not yet begun to use coal he also described how the Chinese mined and burned a kind of stone which was much superior to wood as fuel.

Western World

Chinese World

NEOLITHIC AGE. Agricultural communities in Yellow River valley cultivated loess soil with stone tools. Domesticated dog and pig. Hunting and fishing tribes in Yangtse valley.

BRONZE AGE. Primitive Yellow River city states. Probable use of irrigation. Shang-inscribed bones give base line of history. Sheep and goats domesticated. Writing. Beautiful bronze castings. Potter&rsquos wheel. Stone carving. Silk culture and weaving. Wheeled vehicles.

ANCIENT FEUDALISM. Expansion from Yellow River to Yangtse valley. &ldquoCity and country&rdquo cells. Increased irrigation. Eunuchs. Horse-drawn war chariots. 841 B.C. earliest authenticated date.

IRON AGE. Round coins. Magnetism known.

CLASSICAL PERIOD. Confucius. Lao-tze.


Palace architecture. Trade through Central Asia with Roman Empire. Ink

Carthage and Corinth destroyed

First Buddhist influences.


Political disunity but cultural progress and spread.

Buddhism flourishing. Use of coal.

Trade with Indo-China and Siam.

Large-scale unification. Grand Canal.

ZENITH OF CULTURE. Chinese culture reaches Japan. Turk and Tungus alliances.

Revival of Confucianism weakens power of Buddhist monasteries. Mohammedanism. Cotton from India. Porcelain. First printed book. State examinations organized. Rise of Khitan. Foot binding. Poetry, painting, sculpture.

Classical Renaissance. Paper money.

Navigation and mathematics.

MONGOL AGE. Jenghis Khan. Marco Polo. Franciscans.

Turks take Constantinople

Period of restoration and stagnation.

Portuguese traders arrive.

Clash with Japan over Korea.

American, French, Industrial Revolutions

Canton open to Western trade.

Treaties with Western powers. Spread of

Western culture. Taiping Rebellion.

Boxer Rebellion. 1911 Revolution. Nationalist

Revolution. Unification under Chiang Kai-shek.

Japanese invasion and World War II.

China in fact had a civilization similar to that of Europe before the Industrial Revolution, and superior to it in many ways. The agriculture of China was more advanced and productive than that of Europe because of the great use of irrigation: and the wide network of canals that supplied water for irrigation also provided cheap transport. The Chinese bad reached a high level of technique and art in the malting of such things as porcelain and silk, and in general the guild craftsmen of their cities were at least equal to those of the cities of pre-industrial Europe.

Moreover the Chinese had gone a good deal further than Europeans in the use of writing as a vehicle of civilization and -government, and everything which that means. They had extensive statistics of government and finance at a time when Europe had practically none. They used written orders and regulations when Europe was still dependent on government by word of mouth.

The historical chart shows what was happening in China at the time of well-known events in the Western world. Note that some of the highest points in Chinese civilization came during the darkest days in Europe. The central column of the chart shows a succession of Chinese dynasties. A dynasty is the reign of one ruling family, and some families remained in power for several hundred years before they were overthrown either by another Chinese family or by barbarians from the north.

In the Beginning

The Chinese people did not come to China from somewhere else as did our own early settlers but are thought to be the direct descendants of the prehistoric cave men who lived in North China hundreds of thousands of years ago. Chinese civilization as we know it first developed along the great bend of the Yellow River, where the earth was soft and easily worked by the crude tools of China&rsquos Stone Age men who lived before 3000 B.C.

From the Yellow River the Chinese spread north, east, and south, sometimes absorbing aboriginal tribes, until by the time of Confucius (500 B.C.) they occupied most of the coun­try between the Yangtze River and the Great Wall, and had developed from primitive Stone Age men to men who could domesticate animals, irrigate land, make beautiful bronze weapons and utensils, build walled cities, and produce great philosophers like Confucius.

At the time of Confucius, China consisted of many small states ruled by feudal lords. While they were loosely federated under an emperor it was not until 221 B.C., when the last of China&rsquos feudal kingdoms fell, that China was united as a single empire. The imperial form of government lasted from 221 B.C. to 1911 A.D.

China&rsquos first emperor, Shih Huang Ti, is known as the builder of the Great Wall, which runs from the sea westward into the deserts of Central Asia&mdasha distance about as great as from New York City to the Rockies. The purpose of this stupendous job of engineering was to protect the settled Chinese people from the raids of barbarian nomads who lived beyond it. Much of this great walled frontier is still standing today.

How Dynasties Rose and Fell

Through the 2,000 years of China&rsquos empire, students can trace a sort of pattern of the rise and fall of dynasties. A dynasty would come into power after a period of war and famine had reduced the population to the point where there was enough land and food to go around. There would be prosperity, a civilized, sophisticated, and lavish court, families of great wealth and culture scattered over the country, and a flowering of art, literature, and philosophy. Then gradually the population would increase and the farms be divided, the landlords would refuse to pay taxes, thus weakening the government, and at the same time would collect more and more rent from the peasants. There would be savage peasant rebellions. Out of these rebellions would arise warriors and adventurers who enlisted the outlawed peasants, seized power by the sword, and overthrew the dynasty.

Once in power, the successful war lord would need to bring into his service scholars who understood administration and the keeping of records. These scholars were largely from the landlord class, the only class with leisure to acquire an education. While they built a government service for the new dynasty they founded landed estates for themselves and their heirs. As the power of the landlords grew the state of the peasants worsened and the same things would happen all over again.

Several times dynasties were founded by nomad warriors from beyond the Great Wall. The last dynasty of the empire was founded by Manchus from Manchuria, who ruled in China from 1644 until the empire fell in 1911. It is said that China has always absorbed her conquerors. Until the Japanese invasion her conquerors have been barbarians who looked up to the higher civilization of China and eagerly adopted it. The armored cars and tanks of a more mechanized civilization are not so readily digested.

Of What Use Today Is an Old Civilization?

One may ask, &ldquoWhat good does it do the Chinese to have such an old civilization?&rdquo There is a very real advantage, which visitors to China often sense when they cannot explain it. The values of culture and of being civilized have existed in China so long that they have soaked right through the whole people. Even a poor Chinese with no education is likely to have the instincts and bearing of an educated man. He sets great store by such things as personal dignity, self-respect, and respect for others. Even if he knows the history of his country and his native region only by legend and folklore instead of reading, still he knows it&mdashusually a surprising amount of it. And he has a tremendous hunger and aptitude for education, which is one of the reasons why the future progress of China, once it is freed from foreign aggression, is likely to be amazingly rapid.

May 1944 Gestapo raid in Hamburg’s Chinatown- The forgotten victims

This is a little known story which took place on the 13th of May 1944. The victims were Chinese citizens, not tortured and killed by Japanese but by the Gestapo in Hamburg,Germany.

It requires a lot of imagination to recollect the past history that the Schmuckstraße as the center of a lively Chinese district of St. Pauli . Today only two houses of that time are still standing with an emptied site next to it, nothing remained or reminds the once lively Chinese district that connected close between Talstraße and Grosse Freiheit, one of the popular street in the red light district of St. Pa uli, Hamburg.

In the early 20’s, a small Chinese colony had formed in Hamburg as a result of the employment of Chinese in the German merchant shipping. Soon Chinese infrastructure were arisen in some of the European’s harbor cities. The Chinese have settled down there and opened up restaurants, Marine equipment stores, laundries. At that time, it had as many as about 2000 Chinese living in Hamburg. They were hard-working, well-educated, went to dance and sports clubs, some were married to German women and had children with them.

The harmony living with one another were ended abruptly when the Nazis came. 165 Chinese were detained on 13 May 1944, in the so called “Chinese action” under the pretext of collaboration with the enemy. In the Langer Morgan labor camp in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg, 17 of them died. All that remains today of the camp is a plaque.

More then a 100 people died in the camp due to inhuman conditions.

One of the Chinese victims was Woo Lie Kien He died in the Allgemeinen Krankenhaus Barmbek(General Hospital Barmbek) as result of torture by the gestapo on the 23rd of November 1944.

Many of the Chinese left Germany for America or have gone back to their homeland China eventually ,as the 2nd World War ended. A few stayed back in Hamburg , leaving a forgotten chapter of Hamburg History behind

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US Army Infantry Battalion Structure & Attack Tactics World War 2 (1944)

In 1944 an US Army infantry battalion roughly consisted of 900 men.
These were divided up in the HQ Company with 120 men.
Three rifle companies with 190 men each.
A weapons company with 160 men and
a medical detachment with 30 men.

The HQ Company was equipped with

  • 4 bazookas
  • 3 60mm mortars – want to know How a mortar works? see here
  • 1 .50 cal and
  • 2 .30 cal machine machine guns At its disposal
  • 6 bazookas
  • 8 81mm mortars
  • One .50 cal and
  • 8 water cooled .30 cals for supporting the other companies

And finally the medical detachment had bandages, probably.

Tactics: Attack against an organized position

Before we take a closer look at how an infantry battalion attacks an organized position, Some basics: artillery and smoke were used to support the attack. The Field Manual states that “in the presence of the enemy, fire must be used to protect all movements not masked by cover, or by fog, smoke, or other conditions of reduced visibility.”
The attack against the enemy position would consist of a main and secondary attack. Depending on the situation, each of those would be performed by a different set of units. The battalion consisted of 3 rifle companies, let’s call them Able, Bravo and Charlie. In this case Able company carries out the main attack, Bravo company performs the secondary attack and Charlie company is kept as reserve to exploit any breakthrough or to fight off counter-attacks. Finally, the weapons company would support the main attack.

The main attack was usually directed against the weakest point of the enemy defense. In order to increase power of the main attack, it was conducted on a narrower zone than the secondary attack.
The main purpose of the secondary attack is to prevent the enemy from providing a concentrated defensive effort. This could be done in two ways, either by advancing or by simply providing fire support. In this video we only look at the advancing version.

Secondary attack with advance

Here is the situation, the German positions are at the top. The main attack is directed against a position on the left side performed by Able Company, which will be supported by the weapons company with its mortars and machine guns.

Ideally the secondary attack should mislead the enemy, into committing reserves away from the main attack. Thus Bravo Company is assigned a terrain objective which it should attack with full force. Finally, Charlie Company is staying in cover ready to exploit any breakthroughs.
We can assume that the company commanders usually weren’t informed on what kind of attack they were performing, because the Field Manual states: “In attack orders, however, the battalion commander does not distinguish between nor use the terms “main attack” and “secondary attack.” Although, practice and field manuals usually deviate from each other.

The main and secondary attack are performed in conjunction, thus the enemy can’t focus his defense on one point. The narrower attack space of the main attack and the support from the weapons company allow for a breakthrough in the enemy line.

Able Company now attacks the flanks of the enemy line, while Charlie Company is brought through the gap in the line to exploit the situation. Meanwhile the weapons company moves up to continue its support of the attacking units, if necessary. Depending on the situation and objectives the companies would continue to attack the flanks or break into the rear areas.

Watch the video: 20120512 Kit Siang hampir terpisah kepala dari