Clyde Earl Schmidt Interview, August 1986


Clyde Earl Schmidt


Gregg Phifer



Download Audio Interview (44.7 MB)

Download Transcript of Clyde Earl Schmidt Interview (329 KB)


Earl Schmidt describes obtaining the 4-E classification with relative ease due to being a member of the Mennonite church, and entering Camp Henry, Illinois, on January 7, 1942. Schmidt talks about his experiences in various Civilian Public Service [CPS] jobs including smokejumping in Montana and Idaho. He details two of the three jumps he made during the summer of 1945, and mentions getting a private pilot license in Missoula under the instruction of Bill Yaggy and Jerry Verhelst. He notes that he was forced to quit smokejumping due to inflammatory rheumatism, and was sent to work in other CPS units before World War Two ended. Schmidt describes his stint working on a cattle boat that transported over 700 horses to Danzig, Poland. He also mentions the jobs he had after the war, working as a mechanic for Musselman’s Food Products Company in his hometown of Biglerville, Pennsylvania, and then as an insurance salesman until he retired. Schmidt concludes the interview with reflections on his contribution to society as a smokejumper and questions whether he might have been of more service working in a mental hospital.


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Document Type

Oral History


American Friends Service Committee; Civilian Public Service; Conscientious objectors, United States Interviews; Mennonites; Smokejumpers, Montana Interviews; Smokejumpers, Idaho Interviews; World War, 1939-1945; Conscientious objectors; Savenac Nursery; Ninemile, Montana; Big Prairie Ranger Station; Yaggy, Bill; Verhelst, Jerry

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage

Montana; Idaho



Original Collection

Civilian Public Service Smokejumpers Oral History Project, OH 163, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 163-011

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:30:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (19 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:35:56 minutes

Local Filename

OH_163_011.mp3; OH_163_011.pdf

Clyde Earl Schmidt Interview, August 1986