George S. Leavitt Interview, August 11, 1986


George S. Leavitt


Kim Taylor



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George S. Leavitt explains how his formal and religious education at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, influenced his decision to become a conscientious objector. He describes the difficulty he had obtaining 4-E status, a process that took almost two years. Leavitt recalls his CO experiences in 1943 at the Chilao spike-camp in the Angeles National Forest. He talks about applying to be a smokejumper, and reminisces about the training and some of his memorable jumps during the ’44 fire season. Leavitt discusses his various other CPS jobs in the United State and in Europe as a human test subject, a mental hospital intern, and a cattleman. He mentions meeting his wife, Marge, who volunteered with him at the Trenton State Hospital in New Jersey. Leavitt closes by mentioning that his decision to become a smokejumper was influenced by his desire for his children to be proud of him.


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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; Alfred C. Kinsey (1894-1956); The Disciples of Christ; The Fellowship of Reconciliation; Abraham. J, Muste; Macalester College; 1-A-O classification; 4-E classification; Chilao [Camp], California; Derry, Frank; Kinsey, Alfred; National Service Board for Religious Objectors: United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association; Starnes Amendment; Trenton State Hospital

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 163-007, 008

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (17 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:19:06 minutes

Local Filename

OH_163_007_008.mp3; OH_163_007_008.pdf

George S. Leavitt Interview, August 11, 1986