Willard Handrich Interview, August 12, 1986


Willard Handrich


Rosa Stone



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Download Transcript of Willard Handrich Interview (294 KB)


Willard Handrich discusses his Mennonite religious background, and his experience applying for 4-E status. He explains how he learned of smokjumping in the CPS, and why he chose to volunteer. Handrich describes smokejumper training in Ninemile, Montana, and recalls his most eventful jumps. He recalls learning that World War Two had ended after hiking out of a fire with other smokejumpers. Handrich discusses his last jump near the Canadian border, where he encountered wild goats. He describes some of the work he did before he was officially discharged in 1946 including working as a carpenter and in a cannery for five or six weeks in Hood River, Oregon, building a bridge on the Lochsa River in Idaho, and running a laundromat in Mulberry, Florida. He briefly mentions his decision to become a Mennonite minister in Grand Marais.


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Document Type

Oral History


American Friends Service Committee; Civilian Public Service; Conscientious objectors, United States; Smokejumpers, Montana; Smokejumpers, Oregon; World War, 1939-1945 Conscientious objectors; Fairview Mennonite Church; 4-E Classification; Mount Sentinel fire, 1945; Spotted Bear Ranger Station; Hood River, Oregon; Lochsa River bridge; Mulberry, Florida; Grand Marais, Minnesota; Michigan

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 163-009

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:30:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (13 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:45:03 minutes

Local Filename

OH_163_009.mp3; OH_163_009.pdf

Willard Handrich Interview, August 12, 1986