Legiopreneur: Commemorating 161 years of the Battle of Camerone

April 7, 2024

The godmother of our Amicale, Mélanie Antoinette de Massy, was present alongside President Sascha Kunkel and Honorary President Jean-Pierre Bontoux for the 161-year commemoration of the Battle of Camerone on April 30. The event took place in Aubagne, in the Vienot district.

The Camerone Taking-Charge Ceremony

The solemn Camerone ceremony began at 09:45 with an imposing parade of Foreign Legion soldiers, including our flag bearer Aliaksei Androuchkin, symbolizing the heritage and bravery of this legendary unit.

Survivors of the Battle of Diên Biên Phu Retrace the Sacred Way

Among the most moving moments, three survivors of the famous battle of Diên Biên Phu honored the memory of their comrades by walking up the Voie Sacrée. Colonel Bernard Grué, 99, proudly carried Captain Danjou’s wooden hand, an emblematic relic. Accompanied by Major Alfred Helferstorfer and legionnaire 1st class Joseph Bosy, this solemn act was a reminder of the legendary courage and devotion of the Légion Étrangère.

Airborne Tribute to the Foreign Legion

The ceremony ended at 11:45 with the impressive appearance of the historic Noratlas, a military aircraft from the 1950s, followed by the spectacular passage of the prestigious Patrouille de France, which lit up the sky with the national colors of blue, white and red. This was followed by an aubade from the Légion Étrangère, bringing the unique event to a close.

Visit to the Foreign Legion Museum

The afternoon continued with a visit to the Foreign Legion Museum. During the visit, our godmother Mélanie Antoinette de Massy was accompanied by the President of the Amicale Legiopreneur, Sascha Kunkel. It was an excellent opportunity to reminisce about the history of the Légion Étrangère.

The visit also provided an opportunity to explore a significant aspect of history, that which links the Principality of Monaco to the Légion Étrangère. Indeed, Prince Louis II of Monaco, great-grandfather of our godmother Mélanie Antoinette de Massy, had a career as a legionnaire.

After attending Saint-Cyr from 1891 to 1893, the hereditary Prince Louis II was assigned to the 1st Foreign Regiment, then the 2nd Chasseurs d’Afrique, and finally the 3rd, until 1899. He enlisted voluntarily during the First World War, and was assigned to the staff of the 5th Army. In 1919, he was promoted to lieutenant-colonel in the 1st Foreign Regiment, and then colonel in 1921. On April 29 and 30, 1931, Prince Louis II took part in the Légion Étrangère centenary celebrations in Sidi-bel-Abbès. In May of the same year, he was appointed honorary corporal of the 1st Foreign Regiment. In November 1937, Prince Louis II was appointed Honorary Sergeant of the 1st Foreign Regiment. His rise to prominence is a perfect illustration of the deep historical ties between the Principality of Monaco and the Légion Étrangère.

Thanks to General Youchtchenko

It was a great honor for Legiopreneur to be invited by General Youchtchenko to the commemoration of the Battle of Camerone. This battle embodies an emblematic episode in the legendary history of legionnaires, symbolizing courage and solidarity. This annual event gives us a unique opportunity to come together, share precious moments and perpetuate our common heritage.