Story: Asian conflicts

Dr Jack Enwright with patient at Qui Nhon hospital

Dr Jack Enwright with patient at Qui Nhon hospital

Jack Enwright of New Zealand's surgical team in South Vietnam is seen with an emaciated patient at the hospital at Qui Nhon. In 1963 New Zealand sent a civilian surgical team to South Vietnam. It was based at Qui Nhon, in Binh Dinh province, on the coast of central South Vietnam. The team remained in the country until the fall of South Vietnam in 1975. Enwright served with the surgical team from 1965 until its departure 10 years later. Enwright learned the Vietnamese language and built a strong rapport with local people. While his devotion to surgical work was unquestioned, Enwright's tendency to act on his own initiative led some of the New Zealand staff at first to question his sense of team spirit. Despite these quibbles Enwright was, in 1969, appointed to the position of surgical team leader –  a role he performed admirably for six years.

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How to cite this page:

Ian McGibbon, 'Asian conflicts - Vietnam War', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 February 2020)

Story by Ian McGibbon, published 20 Jun 2012, updated 27 Feb 2016