Lt.-Col. Kenn W. Doerksen was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to parents Lt.-Col. Clarence John (Dirk) Doerksen, CD, and Maudie (née Brommell) Doerksen.
Doerksen was a Royal Canadian Air Force pilot who in the summer of 1974 was serving with the Canadian Airborne Regiment (C.A.R.) as Regimental Emplaning Officer, when he was deployed with the C.A.R. to join the Canadian Contingent of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). Doerksen served as the UNFICYP’s Economics and Humanitarian Officer for the Nicosia District between August and December of 1974, a position that brought him into contact with various government agencies, utilities, businessmen, farmers, refugee camps, Red Cross, etc. on both sides of the Green Line. For nearly two months he was the only U.N. officer with regular access to the Turkish side. Doerksen returned to Canada on December 15, 1974.
The letters in the collection were written by Doerksen, while stationed in Cyprus, to his family in Edmonton, Alberta (his wife Susan and their two young children Tonia and Cameron); and to his parents in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Lt.-Col. Doerksen’s Service Record is not open to public access.
A memorial page honouring Private Claude Joseph Berger can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial. (Doerksen writes about Berger’s death in his letter of September 11, 1974.)