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Zaire- Bravery medal...


Chris Boonzaier
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This was also awarded to the Zaire forces, it was their equivalent of a Crox de Guerre, so there are many more of them than the pieces given to the 2 REP for Kolwezi. Also the awards made to the Legion had the Ops Shaba bar on the ribbon in addition to the palm citation. I have a documented kolwezo group which I will try to dig out so you can see the differences.

Paul

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Hi,

That is correct. I must admit, back in the day I served with some Kolwezi Vets but was not interested in medals so I never had a close look. This one was in a pile of medals I bought, was not one of those I wanted but I had to take the lot. I thought of keeping the WW1 and moving the rest.

best

Chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

As promised, here is a photo showing the type of bar which was awarded to the 2 REP. You can also see the Zaire bar on the Medaille d'Outre Mer which was awarded by the French for service in Zaire after 13 May 1978. These are the medals of Sergeant Jerome Parquet. He was a Caporal-Chef at the time of Kolwezi and I was fortunate to be able to purchase this group with the award certificates.

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Hi,

a nice group indeed.

2 thoughts on this

1) The Zaire bar for the Outre mer... I was in Zaire for Operation Baumier which was the only action I know of with a bit of shooting since Shaba. We did not get the Zaire bar. I understand the bar was awarded 78-early 90s... but often wonder... "to who!?!?" I can only think that it was to attached military advisors. A small number indeed.

2) I think Eitze's bar could very well be seen being worn. I imagine in the case of lost medals it would be impossible to get a set of cut out ones anymore. They are in no way as desirable as cut outs, but in te wa of french medals, still TTA.

Best

Chris

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The Zaire Bravery Medal was awarded to each member of the 2 REP who took part in Kolwezi, so about 650 in total.

I am not sure what other French missions apart from Kolwezi received the Zaire bar to the Overseas Medal. It does seem to be scarce since you seldom see it in groups for sale.

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I am not sure what other French missions apart from Kolwezi received the Zaire bar to the Overseas Medal. It does seem to be scarce since you seldom see it in groups for sale.

Hi,

we met some advisors there, I assume to them?

According to the regulations it was not only limited to Shaba.

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Wow - that`s an interesting bar.

I`ve often seen my bar, but nether the cut out type presented by Paul.

It looks Home- or Zaire-made, but it is nice!

greetings

eitze

I believe these medals and bars were actually made in Switzerland, the name of the company has slipped my memory at the moment.

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According to collectors on the french forum, the cut out bars were given to contingents who were in Zaire at the time of the award. The contingents who had already returned to France got this...

That theory does not stack up with the document for the award. The award was declared by Mobuto Sese Seko on 6 June 1978 and the award documents further dated 14 August 1978 at Calvi. I believe that the entire REP left Kolwezi pretty much en bloc once they had effected the rescue and the medals were awarded to them after this.

My understanding is that the cut out version is the earlier type that was actually bestowed, the solid version is a later manufacture for private purchase or replacement. I must dig back through some of my old issues of Kepi Blanc and see what I can find in the photos of this medal being worn.

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  • 11 years later...

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