Jack Wong Sue "Z" Force AKA 13

Actor Heath ledger is from Perth Western Australia. Heath's grandfather Colin Ledger was a front guinner in the B-24 Flight 200 aircrew. Colin died a few years ago but was a very close friend of Jack Wong Sue for many many years.


(l to r) Colin Ledger and Jack Wong Sue with "Z" forces boat.


Japanese rank insignia and souvineers from Borneo operations.


RAAF Flight 200 B-24's aircrews flew in support of "Z Forces" and provided airdrops behind Japanese lines. Photo from Stewart Wilson's book Boston, Mitchell and Liberator in Australian Service and sent via Daniel Leahy


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His book: Blood on Borneo

Jack Wong Sue was awarded the Army DCM (Distinguished Conduct Medal) but was a RAAF man. Very unusual. What is more intriguing is that only 2 RAAF men were awarded the DCM and Dad is the only one alive today.

Tell a little about that, and why was it important to write your story?

As a Z Man, I was prohibited to speak or write about these events for many years. The Australian Security Regulations prevented us from speaking out and any talk about the Sandakan Death marches was strictly taboo until a few years ago when certain securities were lifted.
Having suffered a stroke following bypass surgery, I decided to write it otherwise it would go to the grave with me. I feel that it was important for young Australians to know what happened and what price was paid for them to have freedom as they know it today.

Tell a little about your self, and growing up in Pearth - and how you first got involved with the Merchant Marines at age 16.

I was born in Perth Western Australia on the 12th September 1925 into a well entrenched 'White Australia Policy' of 24 years. This policy was an Australian Parliamentary Act where Asian nationalities were unwelcome in Australia. Racial discrimination was normality to almost all races except Caucasion (white skinned people).

One day, I was delivered a 'white feather' (symbol of cowardice) which deeply offended me for I have always considered myself as Australian as the next. So deep were my emotions at that time, I put my age up 2 years, forged my parents signatures to join the Norwegian merchant navy.

How did you get involved with the "Z Forces". and mention a little about your training.

Having been rejected by the Australian Navy because my father was a Chinese, I joined the Royal Australian Air Force as a member of the newly formed Air Sea Rescue Crash Boats. Within a few months, I was invited to join secret intelligence - better known today as 'Z Special Force'. Initial jungle training was conducted at Fraser Island - advanced jungle training was conducted at Cairns in Queensland.

How would you describe the work of you and your unit in Borneo?

Clandestine warfare with guerilla units (Chinese, Malaysian and other locals) destroying the enemy fighting machine behind their lines.

Your description of the crucified Australian at the start of the book is a vivd part. Tell a little about the significance of that incident and what it mean to you.

It vividly demonstrated the beastiality of the (Japanese) enemy we were fighting. The fact that the Japanese were content to force march Australian and English POW more than 165 miles through thick mud and almost impenetrable jungle ranging from sea level to 7000 feet AMSL indicated their determination to eradicate their own human kind.

Why was it important for you to return to Borneo? How did it feel retracing your path, and meeting some of the people you knew from the war years?

The feeling of meeting former guerillas and their grown up families was tremendous however, it must be born in mind that my sole purpose was to locate the Bongawan Railway Station Master Ho Ah Lee before death claimed him. I felt I had to apologise for the severity of the threats I made to him if he did not comply with my orders.

The bonds of comradeship and serving together, particularly more so as we operated in small parties (AGAS 1 represented 7 men when we left the USS Submarine 'TUNA').

Why is it so important we do not forget the horrors of POWs and brutality you witnessed?

Because this is basically the first history written by an Because this is basically the first history written by an eye witness as opposed to armchair historians.eye witness as opposed to armchair historians.

What is your greatest wish for future generations, or a lesson to pass on that has stuck with you from your memorable service?

That the children of World War Two Servicemen whether American, British or Australian, never lose sight of the great price paid for their freedom by their fathers. My second wish is that the youth of Japan never follow the footsteps of their beastial canabilistic Samurai and Bushido ancestors.

What advice would you have for other WWII veterans, who haven't written 'their' story yet?

I urge them to do so without further delay.

Thank you for the interivew Mr. Sue
Read review of Blood On Borneo


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