Kenneth Lendon McDowell was born on May 10 1914 in Redvers Saskatchewan, moving later to Regina. He worked for the Dept. of Municipal Affairs.

He enlisted in June 1940. Listing his hobbies as radio and electricity it would seem his request for air crew would have led to be trained as a Wireless Operator. Instead his work history in bookkeeping also opened the path to him becoming a Navigator.

He was posted overseas in April 1941.