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1st Foreign Parachute Battalion

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Country  France
Garrison/HQ  Khamisis
Branch  French Foreign Legion
1st Foreign Parachute Battalion
Active  July 1, 1948 – November 17, 1950 March 1, 1951 – 1954 May 19, 1954 - September 1, 1955
Type  Foreign Airborne Battalion
Part of  Legion REP 1 BEP I Formation, 1948 1 BEP II Formation, 1951 1 BEP III Formation, 1954 1 REP, 1955

The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (French: 1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, 1er BEP) was a foreign parachute battalion of the French Foreign Legion formed from the Parachute Company of the 3rd Foreign Infantry Regiment.


Creation and different nomination designations

1er Bataillon Etranger de Parachutistes, 1er BEP - I,II,III Formations -

The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion, (1er BEP, I formation) was created on July 1, 1948 at Khamisis, in Algeria. The 1er BEP embarks in Indochina on November 12 and is engaged in combat operations in the Tonkin. On June 1, 1949, the Co. Para du 3ème REI completed its count. On November 17, 1950; the 1er BEP (1er BEP, I Formation) jumps on That Khé and sacrifices itself in Coc Xa to protect the unfolding of the RC4 in a traditional Foreign Legion battlefield. Heading and leading tradition was 1er BEP battalion commander Chef de Corps du 1er BEP, Commandant Pierre Segrétain.

The battalion dissolved on December 31, 1950; is reconstituted on March 1, 1951 (1er BEP, II formation) and is seen participating excessively in combat operations at Cho Ben, on the black river and at Annam. On November 21, 1953; the reconstituted 1er BEP is parachuted on Dien Bien Phu. In this gigantic battle, the reconstituted (1er BEP, II formation) 1er BEP counts 575 killed and missing for the second time in a traditional Foreign Legion battlefield. Amongst the fatal casualties feature Lieutenants Dumont, Boisbouvier and de Stabenrath, killed in between April 1 and May 13 as well as Sergent-Chef Grimault, killed on March 30. Reconstituted for the third time (1er BEP, III formation) on May 19, 1954, the 1er BEP leaves Indochina on February 8, 1955. The 1er BEP totals 5 citations at the orders of the armed forces and the fourragère of the colors of the Médaille militaire. The 1st Foreign Parachute Battalion (1er BEP, III Formation) becomes the 1st Foreign Parachute Regiment (1er REP) in Algeria on September 1, 1955.

The insignia of the 1st Foreign Paratrooper Battalion was created in 1948 by Commandant Segrétain, battalion commander Chef de Bataillon, CBA of the 1er BEP.


The insignia of the Foreign Legion Paratroopers of France represents a closed <<winged armed dextrochere>>, meaning a "right winged arm" armed with a sword pointing upwards. The Insignia makes reference to the Patron of Paratroopers. In fact, the Insignia represents <<the right Arm of Saint Michael>>, the Archangel which according to Liturgy is the <<Armed Arm of God>>. This Insignia is the symbol of righteous combat and fidelity to superior missions.

Notable Officers and Legionnaires

  • Rémy Raffalli
  • References

    1st Foreign Parachute Battalion Wikipedia

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