Petty Officer G.E. Cooper

Petty Officer G.E. Cooper was a stoker working in the boiler room just like my wife’s uncle.

Both are not listed as being on board the Athabaskan when it was sunk on April 29, 1944.

I know my wife’s uncle did not make up such a story.

He said he was writing a letter in the boiler room when the ship was hit. The next thing he remembered was that he was in a liferaft and was picked up by the Haida.

He never wanted to say much more than that except how they checked for jammed pipes in the boilers using metal balls. They would drop them and wait for them to exit.

G.E. Cooper’s daughter wrote a comment…

My Dad is in this picture, 2nd row in the middle. He was a boiler engineer, CPO, by the name of George Edward Cooper, deceased 1990. He maintained he was on the Athabaskan when it was torpedoed and rescued, but the book, “The Unlucky Lady” does not have him listed as crew. 

Do you remember him?


Louise is surely glad she wrote me…

Petty Officer G.E. Cooper is in the green square according to the book Unlucky Lady.


The engine-room staff in September 1943


4 thoughts on “Petty Officer G.E. Cooper

  1. Hi, my great-uncle was killed on the Athabaskan. His name was Kenneth Williams. I know he worked in the engine room. Can anybody identify him in the top photograph assuming he is even in this specific photo? Thanks

    1. I will look in the book Unlucky Lady if there is something there.
      My wife’s uncle said he was also in the engine room when the ship was hit.
      He said he was rescued.
      He did not say much more.
      He did not want to talk more about his ordeal.
      Said enough about how they checked the boiler pipes to convince me he was really on board.
      You can’t make this story up!

      1. Hi again Pierre,

        I am so glad to see your blog is still going strong and I enjoy it very much.

        Today I noticed that in regard to the picture of my dad (George E. Cooper) you posted my note over quite a nice picture which, but the wrong one. The picture I referred to was (your number) oldphoto-ww-11002, where he was in the middle of the second row. However, my note was posted above another picture of him: po-g-e-cooper.jpg where he is on the left end of the first row in the short-sleeve shirt. Quite a good picture, really, and shows his face perhaps clearer than the other. It really does not matter to me; however, it might matter to someone else trying to identify their loved one.

        If you have not already done so, you might enjoy reading the article: I Will Never Forget the Sound of Those Engines Going Away: a Re-examination into the Sinking of HMCS Athabaskan, 29 April 1944 – by Peter A. Dixon.

        Your blog is a real labour of love and a source of valuable historical details. Keep up the great work.

        Cheers, Louise Cooper Straub

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