Lett, Ken

Kenneth Lett was born July 13, 1923 in Carp, Ontario, a small farming village to the west of Ottawa.  He worked the land and would go to the Byward Market with his mother when he wasn’t playing hockey or attending school.  When the war came, Ken and his brother opted for the RCAF.  Ken went into the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, where he earned his wings as a pilot.   The next step was to head overseas, and Ken did this via the Queen Elizabeth, which had been converted into a troop ship for the war.  On arrival additional training ensued, and Ken was transitioned to a Spitfire, which he would be flying into combat.  They began doing ramrod missions, attacking anything on the ground that moved.  They also did Channel patrols before and during D-day, and as the front moved through Normandy, Belgium, the Netherlands and into Germany itself, Ken and the men of 402 Squadron were right there the whole time.  By the time VE Day came, Ken was back in England, serving as an instructor, and he was able to celebrate VE Day in friendly territory.  BY the fall he was back in Canada, reunited with his family and girlfriend and learning to readjust to life on the farm, which was not easy for him.  Ken did go back to school, and he opted to stay in the air force because of his love of flying.  So it was, and Ken and his wife went on to make their family and life in postwar Canada, finding their way into the new rhythms of the nation.  We interviewed Ken for this project via zoom in December 2020.