Ed Nafzinger Interview, August 11, 1986


Ed Nafzinger


Kim Taylor



Download Audio Interview (60.6 MB)

Download Transcript of Ed Nafzinger Interview (308 KB)


Ed Nafzinger recalls his childhood, his registration for conscientious objector status, and his decision to become a smokejumper. Nafzinger details his training and talks about one hard landing he had during training that resulted in a concussion. He describes working on parachute rigging after his recovery and performing exhibition jumps for Paramount Studios and the Armed Forces to demonstrate slotted parachutes. Nafzinger notes that his parents weren’t happy about his decision to become a smokejumper. He discusses the camaraderie among the smokejumpers, despite their diverse philosophical backgrounds. Nafzinger mentions memorable fires and pack-outs with which he was involved as well as his experience with wildlife. He ends by stating the important role smokejumpers play in keeping communities and the environment safe.


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Document Type

Oral History


American Friends Service Committee; Civilian Public Service; Conscientious objectors, United States; Smokejumpers, Idaho; Smokejumpers, Montana; World War, 1939-1945; Mennonite Church; 4-E classification; Cooley, Earl; Smokejumper training; Seeley Lake Ranger Station, Montana; Armed Forces; Paramount Studios; Grand Canyon; Geology

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 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 163-005

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (13 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:53:56 minutes

Local Filename

OH_163_005.mp3; OH_163_005.pdf

Ed Nafzinger Interview, August 11, 1986