PERATION OBLIVION blows the cover off more than 60 years of secrecy to uncover the incredible stories of the men of Force 136 – 13 Chinese Canadians whose covert mission almost changed history.
During the early days of the war in the Pacific, the British suffered heavy casualties. Their closest ally, the Americans, were still reeling from Pearl Harbour. In an attempt to turnback the Japanese control of the Pacific, they decide to employ their latest military strategy – their Special Operations Executive (SOE -the predecessor of MI6) would train Chinese Canadians to seek out and enlist local resistance fighters behind enemy lines. To get them in top shape, the SOE would have to train them in everything from unarmed combat to speaking Chinese fluently, in only a few months.
Sergeant Henry ‘Hank’ Wong is the last surviving member of the original 13 Operation Oblivion operatives. Born in 1920 in London, Ontario. Prior to being recruited for Oblivion, Hank trained with the Canadian Army at the new Canadian School of Infantry (Canada’s chief battle school) in Vernon, B.C. where he learned how to jump off a moving truck and trained in small arms and munitions. After being selected by Major Kendall he joins the other operatives to a remote location near Penticton, B.C. where he is trained in commando/guerilla warfare tactics and espionage by the British Special Operations Executive (now MI6). Hank is shipped out to Australia to complete his training and although is selected for deployment, their mission is scraped. Post war Hank finds his own way back from Australia on the Kitsilano headed back to Vancouver, B.C. and must start a new life with his Australian wife. Operation Oblivion is not part of his official military record and he is sworn to secrecy for 25+ years.
Sing Dao Daily just interviewed Hank Wong from Toronto. Here is the link of his story.