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French Foreign Legion Medal Group


ralstona
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Hello,

These belonged to my great-grandfather: Ernest Frederic Hauser

Brief Career summary:

Born in Switzerland (1898)

Enlisted at 16 in the French Foreign Legion

Wounded in 1915 on Western Front

Inter war served in Morocco (Rif War), Algeria (of course), Levant (Druse War), Mesopotamia

Transfered in 1930s to Tir. Alg.

Commissioned reserve Lt. in Legion

1939 - picked to serve with 13 DBLE, served as Lieutenant in Norway (awarded the Legion of Honour).

Went back to Algeria (did not stay with DeGaulle)

Fought from 1943-1945 including invasion of southern France.

He earned:

Legion of Honour (1940 - Awarded by Vichy govt., France had fallen by the time he got home)

Medaille Militaire

Three Croix de Guerre (notice the Vichy CdG in the case but a FF CdG on his ribbon bar!)

Corresponding campaign medals

Missing medals in case: Medaille Coloniale (2 bars), Norway Commemorative Medal, WWII service Medal (4 bars), Ouissam Alaouite

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Hello,

These belonged to my great-grandfather: Ernest Frederic Hauser

Brief Career summary:

Born in Switzerland (1898)

Enlisted at 16 in the French Foreign Legion

Wounded in 1915 on Western Front

Inter war served in Morocco (Rif War), Algeria (of course), Levant (Druse War), Mesopotamia

Transfered in 1930s to Tir. Alg.

Commissioned reserve Lt. in Legion

1939 - picked to serve with 13 DBLE, served as Lieutenant in Norway (awarded the Legion of Honour).

Went back to Algeria (did not stay with DeGaulle)

Fought from 1943-1945 including invasion of southern France.

He earned:

Legion of Honour (1940 - Awarded by Vichy govt., France had fallen by the time he got home)

Medaille Militaire

Three Croix de Guerre (notice the Vichy CdG in the case but a FF CdG on his ribbon bar!)

Corresponding campaign medals

Missing medals in case: Medaille Coloniale (2 bars), Norway Commemorative Medal, WWII service Medal (4 bars), Ouissam Alaouite

Forgive my ignorance, but I don't know the Norway Commemorative medal. Could you please post a picture?

Thanks,

Hugh

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Hugh,

It is not just missing from the picture but missing from the family. No one knows what happened to it. It was a medal issued by the Norwegian government and given to those that helped in its defence. He fought at Narvik with the Legion, that is how he was entitled. He won his Legion of Honor in Norway saving the life of a war correspondant during the battle.

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Boonzaier just said it for me. Amazing career! As I am sure you know, the «Vichy» Croix de Guerre was authorised for those who had earned the CdG in the War of 1939-40. He would have worn that cross and its corresponding ribbon during much of his time in Algeria in 1940-1943, when his unit came under Free French control, at which point he would have reverted to the Republican ribbon. Do you have his award documents?

PK

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A few,

I have is LoH citation issued "fiat a Vichy" and authorized by General Huntzinger. I also have his WWI CdG citation and a few other minor papers. I have this group posted on OMSA website too. If you are interested I have posted many more pictures there (including many of him in uniform and several of the documents).

Art

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Hugh,

It is not just missing from the picture but missing from the family. No one knows what happened to it. It was a medal issued by the Norwegian government and given to those that helped in its defence. He fought at Narvik with the Legion, that is how he was entitled. He won his Legion of Honor in Norway saving the life of a war correspondant during the battle.

Thanks for this. Another window opens!

Hugh

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A fine service group, undoubtably Foreing Legion.

You will have noted the 1939-40 Croix de guerre (so-called "Vicby") has a unique palm on its ribbon. This might very well denote a combat Legion of honor for Norway. In which case, the Legion d'honneur citation should read "comporte l'attribution de la croix de guerre avec palme".

In which case the Legion d'honneu would be all the more desirable.

Even if some of the orders and medals are obviously missing, this group might deserve an additional frame with their replacements found on the market. The only difficult clasp to find might be NORVEGE.

This old legionnaire, who had risen from rank to officer, would have obeyed orders to return to France when they were stationed in the U.K. on their way back from the battle in Norway. He would then have normally been put up for the Legion d'honeur for his bravoury in Norway (this would appear from the date of his citation). All French troups in Britain were ordered back to France, and most of them did.

A significant number of men and officers from the 13th Half-Brigade (Regiment) of the Foreign Legion nevertheless remained in the U.K. influenced by Commandant Magrin-Verneret (Monclar) to become the nucleus of the Fighting French. They were to conquer legendary fame in Africa, with the famous battle at Bir-Hackheim in Libya where the Free French stood against Rommel's Afrikakorps and the Italian armored divisions.

They were to be branded as adventurers and defaulters ("dissidents") by the Armistice Government in Vichy until 1944, to be acclaimed as heroes when the French Army from North Africa helped liberate France.

A fine old soldier, in the true tradition of Swiss military service to France since 1515 (Marignan)!

The tradition was till there, centuries later, with a Swiss caporal-chef in my company who won a Médaille militaire and four citations to his croix de guerre between November 10 1944 and May 5 1945. Honneur et fidélité.

Regards

Veteran

Edited by Veteran
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A fine service group, undoubtably Foreing Legion.

You will have noted the 1939-40 Croix de guerre (so-called "Vicby") has a unique palm on its ribbon. This might very well denote a combat Legion of honor for Norway. In which case, the Legion d'honneur citation should read "comporte l'attribution de la croix de guerre avec palme".

In which case the Legion d'honneu would be all the more desirable.

Even if some of the orders and medals are obviously missing, this group might deserve an additional frame with their replacements found on the market. The only difficult clasp to find might be NORVEGE.

This old legionnaire, who had risen from rank to officer, would have obeyed orders to return to France when they were stationed in the U.K. on their way back from the battle in Norway. He would then have normally been put up for the Legion d'honeur for his bravoury in Norway (this would appear from the date of his citation). All French troups in Britain were ordered back to France, and most of them did.

A significant number of men and officers from the 13th Half-Brigade (Regiment) of the Foreign Legion nevertheless remained in the U.K. influenced by Commandant Magrin-Verneret (Monclar) to become the nucleus of the Fighting French. They were to conquer legendary fame in Africa, with the famous battle at Bir-Hackheim in Libya where the Free French stood against Rommel's Afrikakorps and the Italian armored divisions.

They were to be branded as adventurers and defaulters ("dissidents") by the Armistice Government in Vichy until 1944, to be acclaimed as heroes when the French Army from North Africa helped liberate France.

A fine old soldier, in the true tradition of Swiss military service to France since 1515 (Marignan)!

The tradition was till there, centuries later, with a Swiss caporal-chef in my company who won a Médaille militaire and four citations to his croix de guerre between November 10 1944 and May 5 1945. Honneur et fidélité.

Regards

Veteran

Thank you so much for this information. Yes, it is a shame that a few of the medals are missing and yes "Norvege" bar seems to be the real tough one to find. Here is a picture of him with his men. This is from 1932 after he had left the Legion (and eventually went back). He is with the 2nd Tir. Alg. here.

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Bloody Hell!

jumping.gifjumping.gifjumping.gif

That is THE BEST FFL group I have ever seen! That's worth an article at least!

Thanks for posting this. It is superb .....and I learned a lot!

Thanks a lot! Yes it is an AMAZING story. The man was literally everywhere. I have considered, for a long time, writing up his story for publication. Any suggestions?

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Thanks a lot! Yes it is an AMAZING story. The man was literally everywhere. I have considered, for a long time, writing up his story for publication. Any suggestions?

Go for it!!!!

I am sure there is a magazine who would love it. When its long off the shelves and you want a final resting place, I would be very happy to post his story on the kaiserscross.com site. The is a growing French section there...

best

Chris

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Go for it!!!!

I am sure there is a magazine who would love it. When its long off the shelves and you want a final resting place, I would be very happy to post his story on the kaiserscross.com site. The is a growing French section there...

best

Chris

I think I will. In the meantime I would be honored if you would put him on your website. Let me know what you need.

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A fine service group, undoubtably Foreing Legion.

You will have noted the 1939-40 Croix de guerre (so-called "Vicby") has a unique palm on its ribbon. This might very well denote a combat Legion of honor for Norway. In which case, the Legion d'honneur citation should read "comporte l'attribution de la croix de guerre avec palme".

In which case the Legion d'honneu would be all the more desirable.

Even if some of the orders and medals are obviously missing, this group might deserve an additional frame with their replacements found on the market. The only difficult clasp to find might be NORVEGE.

This old legionnaire, who had risen from rank to officer, would have obeyed orders to return to France when they were stationed in the U.K. on their way back from the battle in Norway. He would then have normally been put up for the Legion d'honeur for his bravoury in Norway (this would appear from the date of his citation). All French troups in Britain were ordered back to France, and most of them did.

A significant number of men and officers from the 13th Half-Brigade (Regiment) of the Foreign Legion nevertheless remained in the U.K. influenced by Commandant Magrin-Verneret (Monclar) to become the nucleus of the Fighting French. They were to conquer legendary fame in Africa, with the famous battle at Bir-Hackheim in Libya where the Free French stood against Rommel's Afrikakorps and the Italian armored divisions.

They were to be branded as adventurers and defaulters ("dissidents") by the Armistice Government in Vichy until 1944, to be acclaimed as heroes when the French Army from North Africa helped liberate France.

A fine old soldier, in the true tradition of Swiss military service to France since 1515 (Marignan)!

The tradition was till there, centuries later, with a Swiss caporal-chef in my company who won a Médaille militaire and four citations to his croix de guerre between November 10 1944 and May 5 1945. Honneur et fidélité.

Regards

Veteran

Any thought on how I can get more information about his LoH citation / details about the event? All we know is that it may have involved saving a journalist who was covering Battle of Narvik.

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  • 1 year later...

A few,

I have is LoH citation issued "fiat a Vichy" and authorized by General Huntzinger. I also have his WWI CdG citation and a few other minor papers. I have this group posted on OMSA website too. If you are interested I have posted many more pictures there (including many of him in uniform and several of the documents).

Art

Can you post a direct link to the OMSA forum where you discussed and posted about this group ?

Thank you

LILO

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