Chinese Canadians in WWII

This is a page of resources about Chinese Canadians in WWII.

A cause worth fighting for: Chinese Canadians debate their participation in the Second World War – J. Maxwell – UBC

This is a thesis currently available online from 2002. In it, Judy Maxwell details first person interviews she conducted with 21 Chinese Canadian veterans about the debate in the Chinese community regarding enlistment. Truly eye opening and poignant.

Chinese Canadian Military Museum

Located on the second floor at 555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, the museum is a non-profit dedicated to collecting and preserving the stories and records of the Canadian Chinese who served in World War II. If you’ve got a particular research question, they may be able to help. They’ve helped me.

Force 136 – Burma Star Association

This was once an excellent writeup on Force 136 from the association of Burma Star recipients and their families. To find it now, google “Burma Star Association Force 136” and then find the cached version by Google. (I’m glad I captured these pages when I did, and I’m sad this site isn’t what it once was.)

1986-11-11 - Force 136 Veterans at Remembrance Day at Victory Square Cenotaph Vancouver BC - P02776
WWII Force 136 Veteran Ted Wong, Burma Star Recipient, Vancouver, 1986

The Memory Project

From the site: “The Memory Project Archive houses more than 2,800 testimonials and over 10,000 images from veterans of the First World War, Second World War, the Korean War and peacekeeping missions. While the archive no longer accepts submissions, it remains the largest of its kind in Canada. Canadians can access the interviews, digitized artifacts and book a speaker.”

Operation Oblivion – Bell, OMNI, Citzenship & Immigration Canada

A knockout site of resources about the first group of Chinese shoulder-tapped to do something extraordinary: get dropped behind enemy lines in Southeast Asia. These men, Chinese residents of Canada, fought for the Allies when they were not yet citizens of their own homeland.

The SOE in Burma 1941-1945 – Dr. Richard Duckett

A man on a mission! Dr. Duckett has started a huge list of everyone who served with the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Burma.

Uncommon Courage – Force 136, Veterans Affairs Canada

Did you know that a select group of Chinese Canadians were trained for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) in WWII for secret missions with slim chances of making it home alive? Welcome to Force 136.

Unwanted Soldiers – National Film Board

A documentary about the life of Jari Osborne’s dad, Alex Louie, a member of Force 136. Her film shares her journey of discovery about secrets her father kept, and her growing awe about the life he had before she was born. (The film is available for download for a reasonable sum: CAD $4.95.)

Who was Willie Chong?

A first person account from a member of the original 13 of Force 136, aka Operation Oblivion. A richly illustrated site, full of details, with a story about dropping “bods” (you have to read the story) behind enemy lines that will raise the hairs on your arms. See Cloak & Dagger.

Force 136 – Victor Wong, Fred Yip, Dake Yip, Poona India, 1944