About the series In 1942, with the Japanese invasion of Singapore, an Australian unit was formed to strike back at the enemy in a series of near suicidal missions deep behind enemy lines.
At the time of the White Australia policy, the unit actively recruited soldiers of Asian heritage to blend in with and train native guerilla resistance movements. Now the veterans, some of them speaking for the first time publicly, relive their heroic wartime exploits and in a unique 'living history' approach, Australia's Secret Heroes takes descendants of the men who did it for real to give them a taste of the same tough training as their forefathers. The first episode outlines the formation of Z Special Unit in the face of a possible Japanese invasion and the drive, in the midst of the White Australia policy, to recruit soldiers of Asian descent to fight behind the lines in Japanese occupied countries like Timor, gafas de sol ray ban Papua New Guinea and Borneo. The first training camp in 1942 was organized by Captain Ivan Lyon on the banks of Pittwater Bay where a modern training camp is now pitched by the descendants of the Z Special operatives, and they are put through a series of physical tests including running and swimming. Lyon was a Special Ops officer who had escaped the invasion of Singapore, and was determined to hit back at the Japanese. He had formulated a daring plan to sail to Singapore, thousands of kilometres behind Japanese lines, paddle into the harbour in foldaway kayaks, and place limpet mines on Japanese ships. Operation Jaywick was a suicide mission in all but name, but Z Special succeeded, with the operatives coating themselves in Max Factor skin dye and entering Singapore harbour in an old Japanese fishing boat. The second episode picks up where Operation Jaywick left off. After its success, the organization is keen to return to Singapore with an even larger party and destroy more shipping, but this time to go in completely unseen, using an extraordinary invention emerging from the Special Operations Executive in London the 'Sleeping Beauty'. Straight out of James Bond, the 'Sleeping Beauty' is a one man motorized submersible kayak. Lyon's plan is to ship the kayaks close enough to Singapore, paddle into the harbour and, when the time is right, submerge their vessels in order to place limpet mines on the hulls of Japanese ships in complete stealth. It's an audacious plan as the Sleeping Beauties have never been properly tested or used in a conflict and the mission goes horribly wrong. We also hear first hand from Jim Ellwood, a Z Special operative who gave up under torture information that led to the capture of other operatives. Jim speaks publicly about his experience for the first time in a candid and harrowing account. The descendants are shown water boarding and witness torture techniques. In a powerful and heart wrenching scene, one of them (Danielle) reads a letter written by one of her Great Uncle Bob's Japanese interpreters who formed a deep connection with Bob and couldn't bear sunnies ray ban to ray ban glasses 2016 witness his execution. The final episode describes the events of 1945 through the eyes of the Z Special operatives, and in particular two daring missions to Japanese occupied New Guinea and Borneo; while in the modern day training camp, the six descendants are trained in jungle warfare, the art of camouflage and concealment. In an island off New Guinea, Mick Dennis is separated from the rest of his unit and is pursued by the Japanese, but remarkably survives. He recounts his experience, including his killing of an unarmed Japanese soldier and the life long affect that has had on him. In Borneo, Z Special parachuted in operatives with the specific instruction of training the local tribesmen to fight the Japanese. Among them were 2 descendant's (Tian and Brenden's) grandfathers, both recruited because of their Asian heritage and ability to blend in with the locals. Tian's grandfather became known as Tommy ray ban italy the Headhunter because of his willingness to take Japanese heads in order to collect a bounty offered by a British officer. Tian and Brenden both travel to Borneo to retrace their grandfather's footsteps.
Brenden's grandfather Jack Wong Sue received a Distinguished Conduct Medal for brazenly entering a train station under Japanese control disguised as a Chinese worker and demanding to know troop movements from the stationmaster, whose family he threatened. Tian's journey culminates in an emotional meeting with Yudan Dawar, a local tribesman who fought alongside his grandfather but never heard from him again after the war, not knowing if he had lived or had children. Tian's arrival is emotional and living proof that he survived.
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