Carl Dammann Interview, July 25, 1981


Carl Dammann


Bruce Van Voorhis



Download Audio Interview (90.2 MB)

Download Transcript of Carl Dammann Interview (295 KB)


Carl Dammann describes how he got into smokejumping after working on U.S. Forest Service IR crews for several years. He details the decision that prompted him to switch to smokejumping after a particularly bad fire season in 1970 that required many days of mopping up. Dammann notes that, while jumping is something he enjoys, he doesn’t plan to remain a jumper for the rest of his life. He talks about his desire to move on and find something different. He details his first few jumps, his preference for riding in the door of the plane so he can look down and also so he can map out his jump point. Dammann mentions the job’s low pay, and he also talks about how many people glamorize smokejumping, but to him it’s just a job and that a lot of people could do it if they really wanted to. He briefly discusses what his wife and family think about his smokejumping. Dammann concludes by talking about the possibility of women becoming smokejumpers and details his concerns that they may not have the physical stamina to do the job.


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Document Type

Oral History


Smokejumpers, United States; Women smokejumpers; Gender disparity, smokejumpers; Smokejumpers, physical requirements; Smokejumper history; Smokejumping; Forest fires; Smokejumper standards; Redmond, Oregon; Winthrop, Washington

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage

Washington; Oregon



Original Collection

Nick Sundt Smokejumpers Oral History Project, OH 172, 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 172-014, 015

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (23pp.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:05:14 minutes

Local Filename

OH_172_014_015.mp3; OH_172_014_015.pdf

Carl Dammann Interview, July 25, 1981