French Foreign legionnaires and their Indochinese sexual partners

Peter Lyderik

Hyper Active Member
#1
Really interesting.

Murray, Edmund "Eddie"

British légionnaire and NCO served with 1st (Headquarters) Regt French Foreign Legion in Algeria, 1937-1940; NCO served with 5th Regt French Foreign Legion in Indo-China and China, 1940-1945, including period in transit with Alessandri Column, 1945; officer served with Special Operations Executive Inter Service Liaison Department in India, 1945-1946; served with Metropolitan Police S Division in GB, 1948- 1949; served with Special Branch in GB, 1949-1965, including period as bodyguard to Winston Churchill, 1950-1965

https://leminhkhai.wordpress.com/20...naires-and-their-indochinese-sexual-partners/

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/80014406
 
#4
It was not uncommon for the soldiers of the CEFEO (legionnaires or not) to have a local ‘partner’. They were called congaïs (from Vietnamese cô gái that means girl or lady). A number of soldiers even married them and took them back to France so that in the years after the Indochina war one could see veterans with their Vietnamese wife in some little garrison towns in France. My father during the Algeria war had an NCO in his platoon who was an Indochina veteran and was married to a Vietnamese woman.
Vietnamese women are one of the reasons of the nostalgia they called le mal jaune (the yellow ailment) that many veterans felt after leaving Indochina.
 

jonny

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#7
Actually, I have a bit of information about those cong ais (sorry can't do the exact word) who ended up with Legion NCOs in Algeria. At least a couple of them started rough restaurants in Sidi Bel Abbes. I loved their soup, known as ‘soupe chinoise’.
 
#8
Actually, I have a bit of information about those cong ais (sorry can't do the exact word) who ended up with Legion NCOs in Algeria. At least a couple of them started rough restaurants in Sidi Bel Abbes. I loved their soup, known as ‘soupe chinoise’.
Yep... Soupe chinoise literally means Chinese soup, and there are a number of different recipes. The one from the north of Vietnam (Tonkin), in particular the region of Hanoi, is called phở in Vietnamese (pronounced like fu*k, without the ck at the end of course...:)) and the locals have it for breakfast (generally in a street restaurant, seating on stools on the sidewalk). It's excellent. Vietnamese cuisine is almost as good as French cuisine (and yes, I'm chauvinistic when it comes to cuisine :D).
Feel free to share your memories, if you want.
 

jonny

Actual or Former Legionnaire
Legionnaire
#9
Sorry, but the only memories of the Vietnam women's little knock-up restaurant was their friendly greetings and excellent ‘soupe chinoise’. There was one lieutenant who joined the 2REP in about 1960 who was half Vietnamese, half French.
 

voltigeur

Legionnaire
Former Moderator
#13
Voltigeur, the Indochina veterans, were they nco, officers or privates?
Our captain was (who came through the ranks if I remember correctly), two or three sergeants, one Cch and three or four Legionnaires. One of those was a former NCO. If you see a legionnaire from that era in the pictures with a lot of medals, you can be sure that they were Indochina veterans.
 

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