William Bolen describes being one of the first smokejumpers in Montana in 1940. He talks about being chosen from the Kootenai National Forest, where he was working as a smoke chaser, and coming to Seeley Lake with seven other men to start the smokejumper program. Bolen describes the training he received by instructors Chet Derry and Glenn Smith, as well as the three jumps he made before deciding not to be a smokejumper. He discusses the equipment that was used for that program, including Eagle parachutes and leather football helmets.
Smokejumpers Montana Biography; Smokejumping Montana History Smokejumpers Training of; Kootenai National Forest; U.S. Forest Service; Seeley Lake, Montana
Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Collection, OH 133, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
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Oral History Number
1 sound cassette (42 min.) : analog + 1 transcript (13 p. : 28 cm.)
Bolen, William, "William Bolen Interview" (1984). Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Collection. OH_133_005.