Rolande "Frenchy" Amundson

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COL This page was last updated 20 January 2016.


I had a hard time finding the right song to play here. Although Frenchy was born and raised in France I decided to play "Jambalaya" just because its Cajun and I like it!


I came to know LTC Rolande "Frenchy" Colas de la Nouye Amundson through my friendship with Maggie. I wrote a little about her in my book Memories of Maggie and then I wrote a whole section about her in my second book Potpourri Of War. I would like to share a little more with you about her on this page. 

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, repeated raped and sodomized. 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 GEN Eisenhower. She met an American soldier, got married, moved to the US, and became a US citizen in 1958. They adopted a girl.

Frenchy met members of the US Special Forces one day and they took her into their fold. She became an honorary member of this prestigious group. They gave her a Green Beret and title of lieutenant colonel.

She also joined the California State Guard. She began volunteering at the Camp Robert's Historical Museum in San Miguel. Frenchy became a philanthropist. What money she made she donated to both the Special Forces and Special Operations Associations. She became a speaker at many of their functions as well as at military bases and schools.

C13-1MaggieFrenchy.jpg (197105 bytes)I met Frenchy on my first trip to meet Maggie in 1990. She is sitting on the right of this photo. Sitting at the table from the left to right is Noonie, Belle Pellegrino, Maggie's nurse, Maggie and Frenchy. Photo donated by Jim Spitz.


Here are two other photos taken of her this same weekend. Photos by Noonie Fortin.


When she passed away on 7 October 1997 she received full military honors and was posthumously promoted to colonel.

Since she jumped behind enemy lines during WW II, she also earned herself the coveted Red Beret of US paratroopers. 


Someone just sent me this link about Frenchy--British Army Rumour Service--Forums!

LTC W.A. "Tony" Funderburg, USA SF (Ret) informed me he had been with Frenchy and Maggie at the 1988 SFA Convention banquet in Fayetteville, NC. Here is his photo with Frenchy--

One of the other guys I correspond with sent me the following note about Frenchy-- 

Noonie, was you aware that "Frenchy" was also involved with the media, in the early sixties in Laos? For some reason the letter "R" keeps popping up in my mind.  Therefore, I would assume Readers Digest, or Reuters.

When I was on "White Star" in 1961, the Green Beret was not our official headgear, and we only wore it in the field.  Personally, I was with the HQ element of the Laotian First Abn Group.  During this time, we worked on the Split Team concept, so being the Senior Radio Operator Supervisor of the Team, I was with the "Command" side of the team, also, and we spent our "field" time with the Headquarters element.

Point here is that the official headgear was the old Army baseball cap, although, we may have still been in the predecessor, which was the 'stovepipe' field hat.  Being a "gang" of nonconformist, we have to have our own designation, to set us apart from the rest of the military.  SO, WE adopted the Australian Bush Hat as our own headgear, on White Star.

Now, please keep in mind that, when ever we had to appear at 'formal' dealings, we wore the official headgear, and when under normal operations, we wore the Bush Hat, and when in the field, "Out Of Sight" we wore our berets.  Confusing, say what?

After a few operations and hurting the Pathet Lao, (commies) they decided to play 'get even' so they placed a bounty on "those capitalistic warmongers" who wore the Bush Hat.  (We had more of the guys wearing the bush hat, then the Beret, in those days.)  In any event, Frenchy, got wind of the Thousand Dollar bounty on the hat, as long as the head was still attached.

Frenchy had a "deal" with the C-Team Commanders, (and the "Shark" was the CO at that time) whereby, she could print anything she wanted to, about our mission, with the stipulation that she pass it through the C-Team Commander, before she sent it to her publisher.  She stuck to the deal, and learning of the bounty, did an article on the subject, however, when she passed it through the Shark, he shit a brick and buried it.  Telling her that under no circumstances was she to report this to anyone.  Frenchy stuck to her deal, and never did, but, someone, got wind of it, and it appeared in papers "overseas."  It took about a month to surface, and once the Shark was confronted with the news, from Group HQ, he summoned Frenchy to his office, and he got rather pissed off, and threatened to have her sent home.  however, the feisty little Lady, stuck to her guns, and convinced him that it wasn't her, because she had no inclination of going back on her word.  And,..........that was the end of that. .......Jim


There have been websites that had photos and/or articles about Frenchy from the war years but most of them are no longer available on the sites where they were. If anyone knows where I might find them again please let me know.

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