The American Guerrillas of Mindanao

. . . remembering yesterday's heroes today

March 2009 Newsletter

The American Guerrillas of Mindanao The American Guerrillas of Mindanao Descendants Group will hold its 2009 annual meeting during the convention of the American Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor in San Antonio May 26-30, 2009. The venue for this year’s convention is the Omni San Antonio Hotel At The Colonnade, which offers a group room rate of $99 plus tax. Due to various convention activities in which most of the attendees will be participating, the tentative date and time for our meeting will be Friday afternoon, May 29. I look forward to seeing a good number of AGOMers and descendants in San Antonio and also at our meeting. If anyone has a problem obtaining accommodations at the Omni, let me know – as in years past, I have reserved several rooms for “late-deciders” that I will hold until about a week prior to the convention.

TWe have learned that Jim Zobel, curator of the MacArthur Memorial Museum and Archives in Norfolk, recently traveled to the Philippines to personally receive the Commander Charles “Chick” Parsons historical collection. Peter Parsons reports that 30 archival boxes were turned over to Jim – they undoubtedly contain documents pertaining to his father’s World War II assignment as staff coordinator for guerrilla activities in the Philippines, which included the Tenth Military District on Mindanao. Working closely with Colonel Wendell Fertig, “Chick” Parsons played an important role in implementing General MacArthur’s military strategy for the conduct of the war on Mindanao and the rest of the Philippines.

Speaking of Wendell Fertig – here is the latest news regarding the status of the movie “Fertig” that has been in the works for several years: Robert Towne has finished the screenplay and it has been presented to Sony Productions for final approval. David Fincher, the director, is eager to start production. Apparently the role of Fertig has been offered to Brad Pitt, with whom Fincher has worked before, but it is not yet known whether the part has actually been cast. Fincher told Empire Movie Magazine in an interview last November that the movie could be “huge” and one of the “five greatest movies ever made.” Stay tuned …..

The recently-passed stimulus bill contained a provision for $198 million for one-time payments to Filipino veterans of World War II. U.S. based Filipinos will be granted $15,000, while those living in the Philippines will receive $9,000. These payments are certainly long overdue. But while this “better-late-than-never” action by the current U.S. Congress is laudable, why didn’t they also include funding for pending legislation – “to require the payment of compensation to members of the Armed Forces and civilian employees of the United States who were forced to perform slave labor by the Imperial Government of Japan or by corporations of Japan during World War II, or the surviving spouses of such members, and for other purposes” – in the same bill, along with a host of non-stimulative earmarks that were thrown in? A golden opportunity lost – S.3107 and H.R.6497 have been languishing in their respective finance committees since June/July 2008. No action since then.

William W. Williams sent documents pertaining to his experience in the Army Air Corps on Mindanao during WWII. He was a B-17 gunner/mechanic with the 30th Sqdr. of the 19th Bomb Group. After recovering from a severe wound received during a mission, he joined the Tenth Military District, serving in the FRS and later with the 109th Division.