Sheldon Mills Interview, August 11, 1986


Sheldon Mills


Kim Taylor



Download Audio Interview (32.8 MB)

Download Transcript of Sheldon Mills Interview (242 KB)


Sheldon Mills discusses his decision to become a conscientious objector and to volunteer as a smokejumper during World War Two. He describes the difficulty he had obtaining 4-E status and, later, his conscientious objector [CO] status because he was a Methodist. He relates coming to Missoula, Montana, to be a smokejumper. He describes his training which included how to land in trees. Mills talks at length about the relationship that conscientious objectors had with the Forest Service and the Missoula community. He recalls his first jump by Moose Creek and how a fire at Granite Ridge got away from his crew. He also describes sustaining a head injury that left him unconscious for six days, his recovery, and jumping after the injury. Mills briefly discusses crew morale after the war. He concludes by sharing his thoughts on smokejumping during the late 20th century.


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Document Type

Oral History


American Friends Service Committee; Quakers; Civilian Public Service; Conscientious objectors, United States; Smokejumpers, Montana; Missoula, Montana; Methodist church; World War, 1939-1945

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




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 163-002

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (7 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:29:30 minutes

Local Filename

OH_163_002.mp3; OH_163_002.pdf

Sheldon Mills Interview, August 11, 1986