William D. Moody Interview, July 19, 1981 and April 9, 1982


William D. Moody


Charlie Bragdon



Download Audio Interview (113.4 MB)

Download Transcript of William Moody Interview (477 KB)


William Moody discusses his 25-year career as a smokejumper in the Pacific Northwest, specifically at the Redmond Air Center in Redmond, Oregon. He talks about various aspects of the job including his rookie training and the mental and physical demands the job requires. Moody talks about how the job’s requirements and the type of people who participate in smokejumping have changed since he first started jumping in 1957. He reminisces about his memorable jumps, which included an accident he had and his experience jumping with the Russian equivalent of smokejumpers. Moody expresses concern over women becoming more involved in smokejumper programs. He also discusses the centralization of the United States’ smokejumper programs as it related to a 1979 study and report. He articulates how centralization will affect smokejumpers’ morale and the financial burden it could impose. Moody talks about some of the smokejumpers he considered influential including Dick Wildman, Baynard Buzzard, and Francis Lufkin. He also talks about the consolidation of the Wenatchee and Redmond bases.


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Document Type

Oral History


U.S. Forest Service; Firefighting; Smokejumpers; Women in smokejumping; Gender disparity; Redmond Air Center, Oregon; Base managers, smokejumping; Smokejumper air bases; Smokejumper air bases, centralization; Smokejumper reunions

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




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 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 172-009, 031a

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

2 sound cassettes (02:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (27 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:30:32 minutes

Local Filename

OH_172_009_031a.mp3; OH_172_009_031a.pdf

William D. Moody Interview, July 19, 1981 and April 9, 1982