In Memorium: Holger “Jorgy” Jorgensen – 1927-2020

We were saddened to learn today of the passing of legendary Alaskan pilot Holger “Jorgy” Jorgensen on April 4, 2020.  Jorgensen was born in 1927 in Western Alaska to an Inupiaq mother and Norwegian father. He grew up living a subsistence lifestyle, served in the Alaska Territorial Guard during World War II, before eventually becoming a commercial pilot, where he spent a long career flying above the Great Land as an airline captain.  He fortunately told his life story to author Jean Lester –  his life’s experiences, challenges and successes are chronicled in Jorgy, published by Ester Republic Press in 2007.

Pioneer Air Museum curator Pete Haggland has known Holger Jorgensen since the 1950s.  Pete recalls Jorgensen as being a wonderful person, a mentor, a fine colleague and excellent pilot.  According to Pete, Jorgensen often served as a mentor to other aviators learning the ropes of flying in Alaska; he remembers Jorgy as the sort of pilot that you never had to worry about as he made good decisions in the cockpit. Pete recalls that Jorgensen flew for Wien, Northern Air Cargo, Great Northern, among others.

Holger’s passing is a terrible loss to the aviation community and to the whole state, Pete says. 

The museum hopes to further honor Jorgensen’s life and career upon reopening after the threat of the coronavirus passes.

Our condolences to the family.

To learn more about this legendary Alaskan’s life, we suggest:

Jorgy: The Life of Native Alaskan Bush Pilot and Airline Captain Holger “Jorgy” Jorgensen​as told to Jean Lester (print and digital editions available)

Anchorage Daily News: Legends in Alaska Aviation – Holger Jorgensen (Published October 7, 2012).

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