Camp Raffalli, Calvi

Pink Floyd

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Rapace

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The picture where Major Raffalli stands next to a legionnaire's grave was taken during the fights in the region of Nghia Lo (NW of Hanoi) in October 1951. The 2e BEP was dropped (“Opération Thérèse”) on Oct 4th to relieve the outpost under attack by the Vietminh. It formed a GAP (Groupement aéroporté) commanded by Col de Rocquigny (on the left, in shorts), along with the 8e BPC (Bataillon de Parachutistes Coloniaux), dropped a few days before. The Viets eventually abandoned their attack and decided to withdraw. They will relaunch a similar offensive in the same period of 1952, managing on the second attempt to seize de position of Nghia Lo.
 

mark wake

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Aye. You were a warden Joseph. My last few months with the REP. they stuck me on police militiaire. Something I didn’t want. After turning down the sgts course I knew it was downhill for me! Didn’t really care though. it was an experience! And before you were a warden a 🐟!? slang for 3eme cie! they used to call us bloody owls!🦉1ere cie. Cheers mate.
 

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No Mark, in fact a was a garde punis before going to the 3rd CIE. And to begin with in the REP, I was a blue- so to speak- Milan 2 in the CEA.
So how did I get from being a prison warden to the fighting 3rd? I was detached to them to run the foyer in Arta, The CDU, Capitain Bellot des Minieres asked me what I did while in the 13. I explained that I was a life guard in the pool in Gabode and then sent down to CECAP as a life guard and (the crucial part) that I did a stage with the French Navy on repairing inflatables (zodiacs® if you like). That was the turning point as in those days there were over 40 inflatables down in the centre amphibie, from 6 man to 10 man zodiacs and even military 2 man floaters.
I had to leave the REP 😥 because I was declared inapt TAP -another story- and sent to 5 RE to be ... to be... a garde punis🙄
 
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Pink Floyd

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No Mark, in fact a was a garde punis before going to the 3rd CIE. And to begin with in the REP, I was a blue- so to speak- Milan 2 in the CEA.
So how did I get from being a prison warden to the fighting 3rd? I was detached to them to run the foyer in Arta, The CDU, Capitain Bellot des Minieres asked me what I did while in the 13. I explained that I was a life guard in the pool in Gabode and then sent down to CECAP as a life guard and (the crucial part) that I did a stage with the French Navy on repairing inflatables (zodiacs® if you like). That was the turning point as in those days there were over 40 inflatables down in the centre amphibie, from 6 man to 10 man zodiacs and even military 2 man floaters.
I had to leave the REP 😥 because I was declared inapt TAP -another story- and sent to 5 RE to be ... to be... a garde punis🙄
Joe, I can remember a young Lt. Bellot des Minieres arriving at 3Cie in 1989. He took command of 3rd section, from his height he stood out. Don't know why, but he always wanted to chat to me and Kiwi Trembath when we were having a quiet beer in the company club. Proud of these, actual numbered brevet framed....
 

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Joseph Cosgrove

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Blast from the past. The D.Z...bay of Calvi in the background
For those who don't know why the REP is unique in France compared to other para regiments, here is a couple of reasons why. The DZ or drop zone, right behind (and sometimes inside o_O) the camp. If you follow the path behind the regiment it will take you down to the centre d'amphibie, which offers a diving club and of course boat operators and swimmer recco courses. Sea jumps in summer helps with your chances with the tourists-;);)say no more! The whole place is full of mountains and the 2nd Cie has a chalet in Vergio up there. Skiing, abseiling and lots of walking is available :).
The REP also forms it's own paras and if you think that it is a continuation of Castel your right er wrong. No seriously there is no ball breaking except that you can't go out at night and the foyer is down to the corporal or the monitor's discretion.
It also folds it's own parachutes and has a section of female beret rouges to repair them.
The airport is roughly 5 kms away! That means when a plane is in, every two weeks, you can be told to get your helmet and get on the truck because you're jumping; no point in taking off with a half full plane eh?:eek:.
 
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Pink Floyd

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How old was he when that photo was taken? He's a great inspiration for the older guys wanting to join.
Kiwi was close to 40 I'd say. A few photos of me and Ray jumping Grand Barra, Djibouti 1990...
 

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mark wake

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For those who don't know why the REP is unique in France compared to other para regiments, here is a couple of reasons why. The DZ or drop zone, right behind (and sometimes inside o_O) the camp. If you follow the path behind the regiment it will take you down to the centre d'amphibie, which offers a diving club and of course boat operators and swimmer recco courses. Sea jumps in summer helps with your chances with the tourists-;);)say no more! The whole place is full of mountains and the 2nd Cie has a chalet in Vergio up there. Skiing, abseiling and lots of walking is available :).
The REP also forms it's own paras and if you think that it is a continuation of Castel your right er wrong. No seriously there is no ball breaking except that you can't go out at night and the foyer is down to the corporal or the monitor's discretion.
It also folds it's own parachutes and has a section of female beret rouges to repair them.
The airport is roughly 5 kms away! That means when a plane is in, every two weeks, you can be told to get your helmet and get on the truck because you're jumping; no point in taking off with a half full plane eh?:eek:.
Remember there were one or two female bérets rouges when I was there. Both sergent-chefs, so no chance for the likes of me. Bloody ugly anyway! Thanks God we had a puffta then! Unfortunately when I came back from the 13th even that was gone! Did cadre for the regiments caporals course down at the centre amphibie. Just a few years before I was the young caporal-élève at the centre amphibie. Funny how things work out!
 

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