News and Events

Passing of MGen (ret’d) Ken Lett

It is with great sadness that we heard of the passing of a MGen (ret’d) Ken Lett on 15 May at the age of 100.

Ken Lett started a lifelong affair with aviation as a teenage pilot in World War Two (see here receiving his wings from Prime Minister Mackenzie King in 1942). He was a member of RCAF 402(F) Squadron flying the famous Spitfire aircraft and, while stationed in England, participated in many raids on the continent to disrupt Nazi Germany’s logistical efforts to support their war effort.  In his own words, he attacked anything that moved with a swastika – including trains and truck convoys.

Ken joined the post-war Royal Canadian Air Force and served in many capacities from squadron pilot to senior command and staff positions.  A highlight was his membership on the selection team that chose the CF-104 as the replacement for the Canadair F-86 Sabre in the early 1960’s.  As such, he was a natural choice to be the first Commanding Officer of #6 Strike/Recce Operational Training Unit at RCAF Station Cold Lake, Alberta, the unit responsible for training military pilots on the new CF-104. Rising to the rank of Major-General, Ken retired from the RCAF as Deputy Chief of Staff Operations in NORAD, after enjoying an outstanding military career.

After his retirement from the RCAF, Ken moved to Calgary and stayed in the aviation world.  He was President and CEO of a family of companies including the Executive Flight Centre, a commercial air charter service operating from Calgary and Edmonton, a flying school at Springbank and three leasing companies.  In addition to his executive duties, Ken flew on worldwide operations as a Learjet Captain and was, therefore, an active pilot from 1941 to 1989 – which is a remarkable achievement.

In summer 2021, The Air Cadet League of Canada (ACL) was proud to announce an historical donation of $1.02 Million from Major-General (Ret’d) Ken C. Lett. This donation represents the largest sum ever donated to the ACL in the history of the League. The gift supported the creation of an academic scholarship fund for Air cadets. Specifically, scholarships, which are named the “K.C. Lett Scholarships” are awarded for postsecondary enrolment in an aviation related program at an accredited educational institution or for continuation flying at a certified flight school. The funding for the scholarships is generated from the interest revenue of the KC Lett Fund and will continue to be awarded in his name for years to come.

May he rest in peace.

Kenneth C. Lett Obituary

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