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Travers file photo [8189]

Susan Travers

SurnameTravers
Given NameSusan
Born23 Sep 1909
Died18 Dec 2003
CountryUnited Kingdom, France
CategoryMilitary-Ground
GenderFemale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseSusan Travers, an English socialite who had spent mush of her early life in the South of France (and had once been a competitor at the Wimbledon Tennis tournament), was the only woman to ever join the French Foreign Legions. After a failed attempt to become an Ambulance Driver during the Winter War in Finland, she went as a nurse to join the Free French in Dakar, West Africa. Here she persuaded the Red Cross to allow her to accompany the Foreign Legion to Eritea. There she gave up nursing and joined the Legion as a driver. She went with them to Syria and ultimately into the Western Desert, being present during the obstinate siege and breakout from Ben Hacheim. Later in the War she sould be an ambulance Driver with the U.S. 5th Army in Italy before being reunited with the Legion during the invasion of Southern France in 1944.

ww2dbaseIn August 1945 Susan Travers was formally enlisted as the only female member of the French Foreign Legion. Her wartime career would earn her a Military Medal and the Legion d' Honneur. Posted to Indo-China she became pregnant and married a fellow legionaire, Nicholas Schlegelmilch. They would have two children and when Nicholas left the Legion in 1950 they moved back to Paris where they would live until Susan's death in 2003.

Susan Travers Timeline

23 Sep 1909 Susan Travers was born.
18 Dec 2003 Susan Travers passed away.




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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed C. Peter Chen says:
14 Jun 2009 02:18:51 PM

"She was exceptionally brave", said French General Marie Pierre Kúnig who employed Travers as a driver in North Africa.

Later in WW2, Travers drove ambulances and a self-propelled anti-tank gun for the Allies in Italy, France, and Germany. She also saw action in the Vietnam War.

Travers was the only woman to ever serve in the French Foreign Legion.

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Event(s) Participated:
» Campaigns in the Middle East
» Battle of Gazala

Famous WW2 Quote
"I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God, our forces stand again on Philippine soil."

General Douglas MacArthur at Leyte, 17 Oct 1944