James Tang Wei and JK Stracke's interview in Broome

James Tang Wei and JK (Joseph Kevin) Stracke discuss their service in the Navy, with particular reference to the Vietnam War. Both grew up in Broome, attended the same boarding school, and joined the Navy in 1968. Joseph served as an engineer, with one tour aboard the HMAS Hobart off the coast of Vietnam. He enjoyed his experience in the Navy, didn’t experience any racism, and marches on Anzac Day. James served mainly on the two Australian aircraft carriers, including making eight trips to Vietnam aboard the HMAS Sydney. While in Vietnam, James’ work included patrolling to help protect the ship from attack, and he was on the HMAS Sydney when it collided with the American destroyer the Frank E. Evans, and remembers the night clearly. James has suffered from PTSD following his service experiences in Vietnam and now receives counselling.

This interview took place on 7 September 2015 in Broome and was conducted by Professor Mick Dodson with Craig Greene as part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project Serving our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia.

The interview recording above is made available to be viewed here by permission of the interviewee(s), James Tang Wei and JK Stracke. The recording may not be copied, reproduced or communicated in whole or in part without the prior permission of the interviewee(s). Requests for permission for use of this material should be made to the Serving our Country research project: our contact details.

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Updated:  16 July 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Serving our Country/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team