Wes Coulter

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Wes Coulter with his bride Betty Caswell at their wedding at Hart House, 3 March 1945

Joseph Wesley "Wes" Coulter (16 May 1912 - 6 September 1997) was a Canadian World War 2 veteran and salesman for Maple Leaf Foods.

Early life

Wes was born 16 May 1912 in Alberta to the Reverend Joseph Coulter and his wife Williamina Bessie Coulter, less than one year after their 26 July 1911 marriage in Edmonton. He was the oldest of their seven children born over the course of 21 years.

Wes used his middle name, likely to disambiguate himself from his father, with whom he shared a first name.

World War 2

He served as a Pilot Officer, in the role of "sergeant navigator" in the RCAF, service number J/90189.

He and his two brothers Hubert and Everett were all navigators in the Air Force. Wes was the only one who survived the war. His other brother of service age, Ken, was deaf and thus worked for the war while remaining in Canada.

I sent away to Ottawa last fall [2018] and got replacements of the medals awarded to my Dad, and had them mounted and framed, and I was showing them to [my son] Dylan. It got us talking about Everett and Hubert. I do have some interesting documents left behind by my Dad, including an actual map on which he plotted the flight route over Germany for one of his bombing raids (he was a navigator).

— Wes' son Laddie Coulter, email correspondence with Mary Ann Currie, 11 June 2019

He was released 24 May 1945.


After the war, he became a salesman for Maple Leaf foods. (according to the recollections of his niece Stephanie Luet in November 2018)

Marriage and family

Toronto Daily Star, 6 March 1945

He married Elizabeth Joyce "Betty" Caswell (12 June 1918 - 9 November 2003) on 3 March 1945, at Hart House chapel. His sister Ruth Newman played the piano during the ceremony.

Wes had four children who are all alive as of 2018. Only Laddie gave him grandchildren - a total of 3. No great-grandchildren as of 2018.

Robin married Menachem "Manny" Kramer (born 12 August 1954) on 25 November 1981. No issue.

Laddie married Barbra Anne Blades (born 14 November 1957) on 27 September 1986. Three children:

Jeff and Hugh are apparently unmarried with no issue.


He moved with his wife to BC in 1996. He died 6 September 1997 in Abbotsford, British Columbia.


Wes, Betty, Ken, and Marie, circa early 1990s
Wes, Ken, Ruth, Everett, and Hubert, circa early 1940s


Sandra Kenzie told to Michael Currie

Toronto Daily Star, 6 March 1945, page 16 [1]