Join in the search

A reader has joined people who subscribed to this blog.

Here is his comment…


The reason for joining is my Uncle trained at No7 in 1942 and I have just found his log book and photo album.

The names of some are Emma Gustafsen (Time Keeper)

A team photo of all on course 77A.

On his log are the names

P/O Hampshire,

F/O Wilson,

P/O Lisham,

F/LT Cormack,

P/O Thornton;

F/O Galbraith.

Can any one help with this information.

Regards Graham Jones

I will get more info.

Click here to read my articles on No7 B & G school

Tarmac Duty

I visited Mr. Corbeil yesterday.

We talked for 90 minutes.

I made him talked about his training in MacDonald, Manitoba.

Wait till I tell you all about it.

He also talked about tarmac duty, but not in MacDonald.

In Edmonton.

I was curious.

Tarmac duty

I realized I had forgotten to scan two of Mr. Corbeil’s scrapbook pages.

I am going to see him again and borrow his scrapbook once more.

I will also ask him more questions about his training days in Canada and show you a clearer picture of what tarmac duty was all about.

Lest We Forget

Herm Sulkers and Jim L’Esperance

Herm and Jim were often seen together in pictures I have about the HMCS Athabaskan.

I know a lot because I have been searching a lot since August 2009.

Herm and Jim were both made prisoners on April 29, 1944, and we see them on the ship that brought them back to Canada in 1945.

Jim is in the red rectangle. Herm is of the left just beside him.

I had this next picture in my file.

Jim L’Esperance’s son sent it back in 2009 or 2010.

Herm is on the extreme left and Jim is on the extreme right in the second row.

I never met any of these brave sailors personally, but I know what kind of men they were.

Paul Sulkers had the same picture but with captions. His father Herm Sulkers wrote them.

Jim’s son and Herm’s son are teaming up with their photos to pay homage not only to their fathers, but to all the brave sailors of HMCS Athabaskan.

One sailor is unidentified.

This is what Paul said in his e-mail.

I have also attached another photo of the A/B gun crew – with Eugene Fuller in the photo along with my dad and Jim L’Esperance. There is also an unidentified sailor in this photo – which I may have noticed on your site, but not able to find on second pass – a reference to the “good looking guy” in one of the photos.

good looking guy

You may also be familiar with the story of Maurice Watson – on the A/B gun team, who switched with another from X/Y as Athabaskan sailed on the evening of the 28th. He did this so that when she returned (planned to return but never did), Maurice then could be first to go on shore leave with his mates on X/Y crew, since X/Y had first leave. My story is very vague, but that is the gist of it.

I wrote about Maurice Waitson. Her niece wrote a book

Click here.

As I said, I never met any of these sailors personally but I know what kind of men they were.

But maybe I just did in 2009.

You see my wife’s uncle said in a family reunion in July 2009 that he was aboard that fateful night of April 29, 1944.

He said enough to convince me to start writing this blog back in August 2009.

I wanted to know more, but he would not say more. I advised his daughter against asking him for more information about his ordeal. She asked for more details and he had nightmares. So she stopped. He told her he only wanted to remember the good memories he had of that period.

He died on February 14, 2010 and rejoined his shipmates Jim and Herm. I never found his name nor his picture in the book Unlucky Lady. I looked closely at Paul’s second picture of the rest of the crew.

I know he did not make up this story about working as a stoker. He had given me enough details about his work in the engine room aboard HMCS Athabaskan and how he was rescued by the Haida.

I wanted to know more, but he would not say more.

I have being searching for someone who knew him personally and knew he was really aboard that fateful night of April 29, 1944.

Lest We Forget

Full speed ahead

That’s what Herm Sulkers would say.

Jim L’Esperance would concur.

Click on the image for a full view.

Paul Sulkers, Herm’s son, wrote me on Wednesday.

I can share everything he sent me and whatever pictures he has  just like when Jim L’Esperance’s son wrote me two years ago and shared all.

Click here…

If two years seems a long time.

Try 67 years.

Try April 29, 1944.

Click on the image for a full view.

This is the picture seen on the back cover of Unlucky Lady.

Click on the image for a full view.

Paul had this one also but his photograph was sharper as you can see.

Paul sent me this one in the same e-mail.

I had never seen this one before.

Click on the image for a full view.

You see Paul Sulkers subscribed Wednesday to my blog.

I know when people do that.

I wrote him an e-mail…


I saw that you have subscribed to my blog.

Are you related to Herman Sulkers?

Pierre Lagacé

Paul wrote back…

Hi Pierre, and yes, he is my father, although in case you had not hear, he passed away in 2007. I came across your blog and really appreciated the content and the connections that you are establishing.

One reason for subscribing is that I was going to post a note to see if we can pull together the list of all the names in the photos of the
Athabaskan’s company – I have two which I have attached. I have had them for many years, and really would like to find a way to put a name
“officialy” behind as many faces as we can.


If you have been reading my blog from the start, you know what I am going to do…

Come back tomorrow.

Full speed ahead.

Stuart Kettles, Leading Writer RCNVR

This is the 150th article on this blog.

Remember this one…

Click here.

Déjà vu…

Click on the image to see Stuart Alexander Kettles

You are asking yourself where I got this photograph.

I had never seen it before.

I have searched a lot since August 2009 when I started writing this blog.



Click here.


I know you will come back tomorrow to learn more about this picture.

Lest We Forget.