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AB765 US 509th PIR Airborne badge of the 3rd Zouaves Regiment

US 509th PIR Airborne badge of the 3rd Zouaves Regiment
US 509th PIR Airborne badge of the 3rd Zouaves Regiment

WW2 French 3rd Zouaves Regiment badge. These where officially allowed to be worn on the US A class uniform of the US 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment (P.I.R.)

The US paratroopers of the 509th PIR are allowed to wear this badge (usually on the right pocket) because on November 15th 1942 the 509th (then 2nd Btn 504th PIR) parachuted into Algeria to take control of the Youks Les bains airfield. The airfield was 200 miles from any US reinforcements and was defended by the French 3rd Zouaves Regiment which where dug in. No weapons where fired as the French commander walked forward and pinned his regiment badge onto the tunic of Lt. Colonel Edson Raff declaring themselves comrades. 

In this one instance the French which had the Allies had thought would defect to the Allies joined the Allies and as various retreating French units passed the air field they stopped and dug in to help fight the Germans.

This badge was the first foriegn award that was allowed to be worn by US troops in WW2.

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