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Foreign Legion (France): Colours

Part 4: Disbanded regiments

Last modified: 2017-05-31 by ivan sache
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  • 5er RE (5e Régiment étranger, Fifth Foreign Regiment)

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5e RE

The 5e RE (5e Régiment étranger, 5th Foreign Regiment) originates from the 5e REI (5e Régiment étranger, 5th Infantry Foreign Regiment), founded on 1 September 1930 as the follower of the foreign regiments that pacified Tonkin in the late 19th century, therefore its nickname of "Tonkin Regiment". Nearly suppressed during the Japanese invasion of Indochina, the regiment was disbanded on 1 July 1945. Reestablished on 1 November 1949, the 5e REI fought against the Viêt-Minh troops until 12 March 1956.
Relocated to Algeria, the 5e REI served all along the War of Independence; after the independence of Algeria, it was progressively transformed into an Engineers Regiment.
Disbanded on 30 November 1963, the 5e REI was transformed on 1 October 1963 into the 5e RMP (Régiment mixte du Pacifique). The 5e RMP was involved on the building sites of the French nuclear program in Polynesia; regrouped in Muroroa on 5 January 1976, all the units of the 5e RMP were part of the grand secret, the site of the nuclear trials.
On 2 July 1984, the regiment was renamed 5e RE; it was involved in different military and civil operations in French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna. After the last nuclear trials in 1997, the regiment progressively diminished its activity until its disbanding on 30 June 2000.

The colour of the 5e RE (page no longer online) was granted on 7 May 1932 in Sontay (Indochina).
The reverse of the colour bears the following battle awards:

SONTAY 1883 - BAC NINH 1884
INDOCHINE 1945-1946 1949-1954 (added to the colour granted on 17 September 1957).

The colour was placed in the crypt of the Legion Museum at Aubagne on 23 September 2000.

The pennant of the 2nd Batallion of the 5e REI is decorated with the Order of the Dragon of Annam, as a tribute to the struggle against armed rebels and the capture of their leader Trang Trung Lap in January 1941.
On 27 June 1994, the companies of the 5e RMP were granted pennants whose reverse recalls a company of the former 5e REI.

Ivan Sache, 1 November 2009