Frenchie Podcast

Frenchie Podcast

Frenchie features stories of French-speaking Cajun World War II veterans, as told by the veterans themselves.

Episodes

April 15, 2022 35 min

In Part II of the Cajun National Guard, we follow these young men to the shores of North Africa, Italy, and Southern France where they served as combat military police. Several hundred Cajuns from the Bayou Country made up the 2nd Battalion of the 156th Infantry Regiment. According to records, the 2nd Battalion was sent to North Africa “due to its French linguistic abilities.” These French-speaking Cajuns utilized their language sk...

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In Episode 5, we chronicle the Cajuns of the Louisiana National Guard. The 2nd Battalion of the 156th Inf. Reg. (31st Dixie Division) consisted of several companies of guardsmen from the bayou country. Nearly all of them grew up speaking French as their first language. This entire unit spent more than 2 years training together before being shipped overseas as combat military police units. The history of this Cajun Guard unit is par...

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October 14, 2021 25 min

In 1941, Bernice LeJeune was told by the army that his Cajun French language would be of “no use to the US military.” Two years later, he found himself on the shores of North Africa assigned as a French Interpreter for an American colonel. LeJeune traveled with this colonel all throughout the Mediterranean Campaign and helped maintain liaisons with the French people and the French army at the famous battles of Casino and Anzio in I...

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August 17, 2021 29 min

In this episode, we transition from the front lines to the high seas, and feature stories from Cajuns who served in the US Navy. These Cajuns had the occasion to speak their native French to other Francophones while in the Pacific or onboard ship, and some were actually engaged in interpreting for military commanders with French leaders. This episode features stories from Willis Granger, Jonas Perrin, Ovide Lancon, and James Warren...

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April 10, 2021 29 min

Sam Broussard was born and raised in Breaux Bridge, LA, and served as an intelligence officer with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). He came ashore on Omaha Beach on D-Day as the intelligence officer with the US First Army. He led a special forces detachment unit throughout Normandy and Brittany on various missions alongside French resistance groups behind enemy lines. From France, he led additional missions in Belgium and Ge...

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March 23, 2021 31 min

Bob Leblanc, a native of Vermilion Parish, served as a liaisons officer with Special Forces Detachment No. 11 in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). He came ashore in Normandy with Gen. Patton’s Third Army and led a small advanced team behind enemy lines to coordinate activities with French resistance fighters. His ability to not only speak French, but to read and write it, gave him distinct advantages in the military. He also ...

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