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Nieves Fernandez was a schoolteacher in Tacloban, Leyte before the war broke out. When the Japanese occupied the Philippines, her life turned upside down. They took away all the possessions of Filipinos. From being a schoolteacher, Nieves turned into one of the leaders of guerrilla resistance to the Japanese during the World War II that led a group of 110 native men from South of Tacloban.

With just three rifles, Nieves taught her troops to improvise grenades and guns made from gas pipes, or stole Japanese weapons.

The only female guerilla commander in the Philippines was dressed in all-black attire and committed silent killings armed with only makeshift shotgun, which she made out of gas pipe, and her bolo knife. With that, Nieves became know as the “Silent Killer”.

fernandez-attachmentThroughout the war, Nieves and her troops liberated Prisoners of War, sabotage Japanese supplies, and conduct hundreds of raids on the Japanese Imperial Army in the Philippines. Toward the end of World War II and the arrival of the Americans in 1944, Nieves and her guerrilla forces had liberated many villages from the Japanese and freed dozens of comfort women.

Nieves Fernandez was honorably discharge from service on May 31, 1945 with a rank of Sergeant under the unit of Headquarters and Headquarters & Service Company, 95th Infantry, Leyte Area Command.

 

References:

Fratus, Matt. “Captain Fernandez and the Gas Pipe Gang: How Filipino Guerrillas Resisted the Japanese During World War II.” 2020. Coffee or Die Magazine. June 8, 2020. https://coffeeordie.com/filipino-guerrillas/.

“The Lewiston Daily Sun – Google News Archive Search.” 2020. Google.com. 2020. https://news.google.com/newspapers? nid=1928&dat=19441103&id=Wp8gAAAAIBAJ&sjid=iWgFAAAAIBAJ&pg=5121%2C2447312&hl =en&fbclid=lwAR1RK818Egvqz5WyvGBOS14ShwV7GfWVGALyyRVP3C9 jzoi3ABc7_RKnbg.

Leyte Area Command, File No. 17-1, Folder 285. Philippine Archive Collection. (Maryland, Washington D.C.: National Archives College Park). Philippine Veteran Affairs Office. http://172.16.1.117:1903/Collections/Guerilla/Box%20285/1430807.pdf

“RESISTANCE IN THE PHILIPPINES: NIEVES FERNANDEZ I HEROES OF THE RESISTANCE.” n.d. Heroesoftheresistance.Org. Accessed September 28, 2020. https://heroesoftheresistance.org/profile/resistance-philippines-nieves-fernandez

Sellers, Michael. “Captain Nieves Fernandez — WWII Guerrilla Leader in Leyte, Philippines.” MichaelDSellers.Com. February 11, 2017. https://www.michaeldsellers.com/blog/2017/02/11/looking-for-info-on-captain-nieves-fernandez-wwii-guerrilla-leader-in-leyte-philippines/.

 

Research by:

Ma. Jossel Emmanuelle P. Manalo