Now, I remember why I omitted this Chapter in my original Book, "From China to Borneo,"I couldn't find any reference to Captain Fong. As my book was Facts, Non fiction, I decided not to add my grandfather's and my father's story to my book..
It was only after my discussions with my brothers and Larry that bro Joseph, a lawyer suggested that Captain Fong was an alias, then it clicked. Captain Fong or Roger Cheng was a great hero. He should be celebrated. He was the pride of the Chinese, he was the pride of the Chinese-Canadian.
With the Head-Hunters in Sarawak
Sarawak, in northern Borneo, had been occupied by the Japanese since early 1942. When the first S.O.E. team landed in this wild, jungle-covered land, they took great risks to enlist local mountain tribes in their fight against the Japanese. Fortunately, these local people detested the Japanese and became loyal and indispensable allies to the S.O.E. agents. The Ibans, one of the most aggressive of these head-hunting tribes, were a considerable help to S.O.E. in clearing this area of Japanese.
The small, black-haired, brown-skinned Ibans had adapated perfectly to their lush and unchanging environment; they could move effortlessly through either the dense jungle or along the sinuous river with equal skill. The Japanese gradually withdrew down the river, the head-hunters spreading terror among the debilitated enemy.Footnote 10
It was into this situation that 29-year-old Roger Cheng and four other Chinese-Canadians, Jimmy Shiu, Norman Lowe, Roy Chan and Lewis King, were flown on August 6, 1945. Cheng was the first Chinese-Canadian to become an officer in the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals, a rare accomplishment in those days. He was an electrical engineering graduate from McGill University and spoke fluent Cantonese, making him a natural to head this team. Upon arrival, the group joined a small British team which was gathering information on the movements of the Japanese as well as about conditions in prison camps in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, where about 25,000 British prisoners of war were being held.
For someone who worked with the headhunters at the war time earns my admiration.
Chan Kee Seng, born 1882 in China
The above three narration of the same event were by my three brothers told to them by my Grand Father Kee Seng or by my Father Hiu Fei.
Captain Fong is likely to be an alias of Roger Cheng. I am pleased that we could piece together Captain Fong, and validate Ah Kung's story. I am so excited that with our connection, we can dare say Captain Fong wasn't a figment of Ah Kung's imagination.
Larry Wong, curator of Canadian Chinese Military Museum.
Roger Kee Cheng served as a member of the Royal Canadian Corps of Signals during the Second World War. He saw service in Ottawa prior to undertaking commando and guerrilla training for his subsequent service in the Molucca Islands and Borneo.