LCdr Herb Lim (Ret’d)
We regret to advise of the death of a WW II veteran, Lieutenant Commander Herb Lim (Ret’d) on 15 June 2015 in Vancouver. Herb was born in Vancouver, BC in 1925 and was undertaking engineering studies at UBC when WW II broke out. Although he could have claimed this exemption, he chose to volunteer in September 1944 and served during WW II as a Sapper.
Herbert was a Chinese Canadian whose ability to speak Chinese and Japanese made him a prime candidate for what was to be called Special Operation Executive (SOE) Force 136. This force comprised soldiers who were dropped behind enemy lines in Malaysia and Burma to help organize the resistance against the Japanese.
Sapper Herb Lim enlisted in the Royal Canadian Engineers and began his training at Chilliwack where he learned demolitions, booby traps and subversive warfare. This was followed by intensive training in the isolated British Columbia interior. He was selected to become a wireless operator and, after completion of this training, he was despatched to England for more extensive training, including paratroop training.
In the Far East, SOE Force 136 personnel worked under extreme conditions, constantly on the move to prevent capture and under constant harassment from the enemy. At the war’s end, members of SOE Force136 stayed and cared for the prisoners, nursing them back to health and providing much needed intelligence about the progress of the Japanese surrender. Their post-war duties also included preventing the locals from taking revenge against the defeated soldiers. For his work, Herbert Lim was awarded the Burma Star.
After the war, Herb became a merchant seaman and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander. After retirement he became a very successful businessman in Vancouver. Herb was a philanthropist and an historian and was also an accomplished civilian sports diver. He was very active in promoting the Chinese Canadian community and the Chinese Museum in Vancouver. Herbert Lim was a Life Member of the CFB Chilliwack Historical Society and a strong supporter of the Retired Sappers.
Cremation has taken place. There will be a Celebration of Life In approximately three weeks. Details will follow.