Virginia Hansen Holmes: Guerrilla Daughter of Mindanao passes on at 84

Sep 2, 2018

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One of the few survivors of the Second World War in Mindanao has passed on.

 

Guerrilla Daughter GInger Hansen Holmes receives a token from Guerrilla Son Raul Ilogon whose father and grandfather served under Col. Wendell Fertig during WW2 (RMB, NPN)

Virginia Hansen Holmes, known fondly to family and friends as Ginger, died on August 24, 2018 at her home in Falls Church, Virginia in the United States. She was 84.

 

Members of the American Guerrillas of Mindanao (AGOM) where Ginger served as president for many years, learned of the sad news from David Evans, Esq., who in turn was informed of Ginger’s passing by her daughter Diana.

 

Ginger Hansen Holmes with Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and former Mayor Tinnex Jaraula during the 75th Anniversary Reenactment of of MacArthur’s Breakout at Macabalan port held March 13, 2017 (RMN, NPN)

“Ginger worked very hard over the years to keep AGOM going and to honor the valor of the American Guerrillas of Mindanao,” read Evans email to the AGOM. “Ginger was a great lady. We owe her so much. Her work will be carried on.”

 

Her daughter Diana requests those who wish to send a card to please send it to her father:

 

Kent Holmes

120 S. Cherry St.

Falls Church, VA 22046

 

“While it was not unexpected, it was sudden and very fast. She was fierce and brave to the end,” Diana said in her email to Evans.

Ginger Hansen Holmes was the guest of honor for the 75th Anniversary of MacArthur’s Breakout Exhibit held March 2017 in Cagayan de Oro City. (RMB, NPN)

Ginger was the Guest of Honor during the 75th Jubilee of Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s Breakout from Corregidor to Australia via Cagayan, Misamis by PT Boat and thence by B17 via Tangkulan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

 

As the one of the few remaining eyewitnesses to the events of World War II in Mindanao, she participated in all the events of the week-long “General Douglas MacArthur Week” held March 13-17, 2017 in Cagayan de Oro City and Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon.

Ginger Hansen Holmes shares her experiences as a Guerrilla Daughter during WW2 at the Centrio Mall, Cagayan de Oro City (RMB, NPN)

She shared her wartime experiences in Mindanao in her book “Guerrilla Daughter” and also lectured on “Wendell Fertig and his Guerrilla Forces in Mindanao” authored by her husband Kent Holmes in two presentations held at the Centrio Mall in Activity Center in Cagayan de Oro City.

 

Ginger was the daughter of guerrilla Cpl. Charles Hansen, who was the logistics head for the Surigao sector of the 10th Military District of the United States Forces in the Philippines (USFIP) under Col. Wendell Fertig. Her two elder brothers also fought as guerrillas under Fertig.

Ginger Hansen Holmes lectures on husband Kent Holmes book Wendell Fertig and his Guerrillas in the Philippines at Centrio Mall, Cagayan de Oro City (RMB, NPN)

 

She shared her personal experience of the time her family spent in Lanao, Misamis Oriental and Surigao from the late 1930s through WWII.

 

In an email to this writer in 2016, Ginger wrote: “As detailed in my book Guerrilla Daughter my family spent time in Lanao, Misamis Oriental and Surigao provinces starting in the late 1930s and through WWII.  While Dad operated a sawmill in Lanao, my three older brothers attended Ateneo de Cagayan (now Xavier U) while my sister attended Lourdes Academy (now College).  In Surigao we attended San Nicolas School (now St Paul U) — we definitely have old ties to your region!”

 

The Hansen family later moved to Northern Surigao where he father worked as a Plant Superintendent of the East Mindanao Mining Co. The family spent most of their wartime years in Surigao, particularly in the evacuation area in Bayabas.

Ginger Hansen Holmes poses for a memento with Cagayan de Oro teachers and students at the Centrio Mall following her lecture (RMB, NPN)

 

“And now, all these years later, I serve as president of the American Guerrillas of Mindanao Descendants Group — very thrilled that there will be a Study Center to include the Mindanao Guerrillas and our group will be contributing several World War II-related historical books to the center.”

 

Our condolences and salutations to the Hansen and Holmes families. Indeed, Ginger was a great lady to whom we owe so much. We promise to carry on her work, lest we forget, lest we forget…

 

Requiesce in pace!

 

-30-

 

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