Another sailor’s story – Alfred Kühn

I had written this post in February 2019 following my virtual meeting with the son of a German sailor.

Original post

It was in September 2009 that I started writing about the war memories of a Canadian sailor. It was my wife’s uncle who had told us that he was aboard HMCS Athabaskan on April 29, 1944. 

HMCS Athabaskan 11

He was in the engine room writing to his parents when the next thing he remembered was being rescued by HMCS Haida. The Athabaskan had been torpedoed by the German Torpedo Boat T24.


In the engine room of the T24 was another sailor.

Wilhelm Küllertz

Wilhelm Küllertz

His son Willi told me his father’s story, which I’m going to share on this other blog.

End of the original post

Last week Manfred wrote me a comment on Souvenirs de guerre which is the French version of Lest We Forget. I asked him how he found my blog. He told me he was simply looking on the Internet to compare the picture he had of the captain of the T24 with his father’s war souvenirs.

HMCS Athabaskan was sunk by a torpedo launched by the T24. The rest of the story was well documented in the book Unlucky Lady co-written by Émile Beaudoin and Len Burrow.

cover page 1

Émile Beaudoin can be seen next to Alfred Kühn, Manfred’s father.

However what the story does not tell us in details is how many Athabaskan sailors were rescued and saved from certain death in the icy waters by the T24 crew of which Alfred Kühn was a member.

Souvenirs de guerre, just like Lest We Forget, its English version, is written to honour all those heroes whose stories will never be written.

His son Manfred told me his father’s story, which I will share later here on another blog.



Machine lance corporal Wilhelm Küllertz Life stages or Fate cannot be planned Created by Willi Küllertz in November 2018 Chapter One Wilhelm Küllertz was born on June 6th, 1925. He was the second child of Johann Küllertz and Bernhardine Küllertz, née Nieländer. His family was living in Katscher which was in the district of Leobschütz […]

A sailor’s story/Les souvenirs de guerre d’un marin/Eine Seemannsgeschichte