|Birth: ||1923, France|
|Death: ||Oct. 7, 1997|
San Luis Obispo County
A brave member of the French Resistance during World War II, "Frenchy" parachuted in behind enemy lines to help with espionage. She was highly repected and honored by the U.S. Special Forces. She lived her last days in Paso Robles, California, where she was a docent for the Camp Roberts Historical Museum, and much loved by the military community.
The following is reportedly a partial narrative concerning her history of service:
She served in the Special Air Service of the French Army and became part of the French resistance during World War II. She moved to England where she trained to be a secret agent for the British Special Operations Executive and became a paratrooper. Frenchy jumped behind enemy lines several times and brought back very important information to the British headquarters. Her missions ended when she was captured by German forces. She was tortured by the Gestapo, sent to the concentration camp at Mauthausen, repeatedly abused in unspeakable ways. On 1 May 1945 she was liberated. She went to night school and became a nurse. She went to French Indochina and worked from 1947 to 1949. She fell in love, married and had a son. Her husband became MIA during a mission. Their son and maid were killed when their house was hit by mortars. She returned to France where she went to work in the American Embassy and became an interpreter for General Dwight D. Eisenhower. She met an American soldier, got married, moved to the United States, and became a US citizen in 1958. They adopted a girl.
Frenchy met members of the US Army Special Forces one day and they took her into their fold. She became an honorary member of this prestigious group. She was given the honorary green beret by 12th SFG (A) at a banquet in 1977. Also in attendance was the Governor of California who inducted her into the California State Military Reserve at the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. She began volunteering regularly as a docent at the Camp Roberts Historical Museum on Camp Roberts, California, near where she and her husband lived and where her husband worked at a communications station. She regaled countless visitors to the museum with tales of her escapades.
Frenchy became a philanthropist, donating to both the Special Forces and Special Operations Associations. She became a speaker at many of their functions as well as at military events and at schools. She became a close acquaintance of actress/comedienne Martha Raye, who, because of her countless shows for servicemen all over the world including war zones, had been given the honorary title of Army Colonel and was referred to as "Colonel Maggie."
When Frenchy passed away on 7 October 1997 she received full military honors and was posthumously promoted to Colonel as well. Since she had jumped behind enemy lines during World War II, she also earned herself the coveted Red Beret of US paratroopers. The Camp Roberts Historical Museum, a non-funded non-profit, all-volunteer military museum, is planning a permanent exhibit on Frenchy, and is currently soliciting tax-exempt donations for this project.
Paso Robles District Cemetery
San Luis Obispo County
Created by: Gaz
Record added: Nov 11, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 31311787