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

2 thoughts on “Herm Sulkers and Jim L’Esperance

  1. I clicked to follow again; I guess it never worked the first time and that’s why I keep missing these wonderful posts. Brother, you have your hands full taking care of my blogging.

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