In memory of
ROY S. T. CHAN, M.M.  (Canadian Army)

Born October 11, 1916, Victoria, B.C. Canada

Passed away peacefully Sunday, April 26, 1998, Victoria, B.C.   survived by wife and sons.

Photo of Roy Chan, on background of medals received for serving in the Canadian Army, in a special opertaion of the British Special Operations Executive, with the Australian Armed forces during WW2 click to see REFERENCE SECTION at bottom of this page

Roy was the 6th child of 12 born to Mr. and Mrs. Chan Dun ( of Panama Cafe fame ). Roy's siblings include:  Steven, Philip, Esther, Ira (deceased), Allan, Hsin Kan, Herby, Paul, Mabel, Gladys, and Dorcas.

Roy was awarded the Military Medal, for bravery, by the Canadian Government for his volunteering to be part of a 5 man team of Chinese Canadians dropped behind enemy lines in Borneo during World War II. This operation initiated by the British Special Operations Executive (S.O.E.) was under the direct command of the 9th Australian Division, the objective was to take over a Prisoner of War camp in Kuching. To do this they were to recruit local tribesmen ( Iban / Dyaks who were encouraged to resume headhunting ) and form them into a local guerilla army.

Prior to this he was one of the first volunteer recruits for "Operation Oblivion", a S.O.E. operation in cooperation with the Canadian Army, with plans to be dropped behind the lines into China.

A letter carrier with the Canadian Post Office for 25 years until 1981, he was also a bandsman in the Canadian Army Reserves, and the Shrine Band for many years.

Other associations included:    Chinese Presbyterian Church; Royal Canadian Legion, Britannia Branch No. 7 membership; Chinese Canadian Veteran's group; Free Mason's Victoria Columbia Lodge No. 1 A.F. and A.M. with Mother Lodge was in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and Board of Directors, Hoy Sun District Association.

Roy will be missed for his love of music, patriotism, his sense of hospitality, cheerfulness and his devotion to the Church.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the B.C. Cancer Agency or the Victoria Chinese Presbyterian Church.

The family would like to give special thanks to the staff at the B.C. Cancer Agency, Vancouver Island Chemotherapy Unit, and the Victoria Hospice Society. For the many prayers and visits by friends and family -- we feel blessed.

MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held at McCall's Chapel, 1400 Vancouver St. Victoria, B.C., 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 05, 1995. Rev. Campbell Smyth officiating.

  • The above information is taken from the original obituary published in the Victoria TIMES COLONIST Newspaper, written by Neal Chan, coordinator of the web site.
  • "Unsung Heroes:  Chinese Canadians in W.W. II" 27 min documentary video tape produced by Christina Wong, Vancouver, Canada 1997 (supported in part by grant from Government of Canada Year of the Asia Pacific Program) - this documentary tape has been used by the Knowledge Network as part of a fund raising campaign for this Public Television service in B.C.  This documentary tape contains the last public interview given to a media production by Roy Chan, who at the time was the last surviving member of the Borneo operation.
  • The Dragon and the Maple Leaf historical book by retired librarian Mrs. Marjorie Wong (London, Ontario), includes contributions by Roy Chan in photos and documents from W.W.II - this comprehensive book is available from many public libraries in B.C. and across Canada.
  • We include reference here also to Henry Collins, Australian Airforce/Army photos on Manus Island, PNG (see below) -- as Roy and the rest of the "Operation Oblivion" team spent several weeks in Papua New Guinea, waiting for a ship to complete their voyage from San Francisco, USA to Sydney, Australia.  It was in Australia that this group was to complete their jungle fighting and industrial sabotage-explosives training, with the help of the Australian armed forces, it was during this period in Australia that Roy and most of his team mates won their "Parachute Wings" - as this was one of the ways they were to be "inserted behind the lines" ie. they were to parachute into China or brought in by submarine.

| return to Victoria,section | see also Australian WW2 veteran Henry Collins' photos of Papua New Guinea see also Edmonton's Military Museum article and contents |