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Americans at War in Foreign Forces

                                          1914 -1945


French Foreign Legion


From Americans at War in Foreign Forces:
Those Americans who came to join the Foreign Legion were described respectfully by their fellow John Bowe as basically disobedient and reluctant to subordinate themselves to authority, but always prepared to stand up for what was “Right.” They were courteous to strangers but quick to fight among themselves. “They would never patch their clothes. They did no fatigue duty they could dodge. They carried books in one pocket and grenades in another, and only saluted officers when the sweet notion moved them.” They were seemingly perfect for the French Foreign Legion, and in Bowe’s estimation an “aggregation of automobile racers, elephant hunters, college students, gentlemen of leisure, professional boxers, baseball players, lawyers, authors, artists, poets and philosophers” that acquitted itself with superb effect in the fight against Germany. 

Of the approximately 200 identified American members of the Legion, many would be killed in action. Some would be killed, but live on in history. Some would move on to other fighting forces in the war, especially aviation. A few would eventually end up in American forces after U.S. entry into the war in April 1917, and a small handful would go on to play a role in the World War that was yet to come after the supposed “War to End All Wars” that was World War I.

​This list is believed to be fairly comprehensive.