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Reasons to Enlist

Heroes Remember

We had meetings about that in Vancouver lot of them, I was only a young chap then, I was fourteen, you know, or fifteen when the war started. But they explained to me that a lot of them wanted to join, so that they can try and get the citizenship for the Chinese people, by going to war. And it wasn't until August and September of 1944 that they, that they enlisted, allowed the Chinese to enlist, they wanted us to enlist in the army, because Japan in 1942 or ‘43 occupied all of the British Empire, in southeast Asia, all of Malaysia, Burma, French-Indo China, all the way down to the south almost to Australia. Japan at that time they occupied the whole far east. And I think, well I knew Great Britain wanted the Chinese speaking, English and Chinese, that were able to speak English and Chinese, to enlist to infiltrate the territories that Japan occupied and that's how we got in to the war. In 1944 we, we were called up, I was only 18, just out of high school. Well we were enemies with the Japanese as you know and of course we didn't go after any Japanese that lived in Canada, I had many friends as Japanese when we were going to school. But we sorta felt a little bit of animosity towards them because they attacked China and at that time we had to wear a little badge, that say Chinese, with a Chinese flag, to distinguish ourselves from the Japanese in Canada. And I think the Japanese people, they knew that they were in the wrong for attacking China.

Mr. Wong talks about why the Chinese community became enthusiastic about enlisting in the service and about the animosity they felt towards the Japanese.

Victor Eric Wong

Mr Wong was born in Victoria, BC and enlisted in 1944 at the age of 18. He went overseas to fight in China after training at Camp Shiloh in Manitoba. He was a rifleman with the Special Operative Executive that fought in Burma and was trained in guerilla warfare.

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Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Victor Eric Wong
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War

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