Earl Cooley describes developments in the smokejumper program from World War II until he left the organization in 1951. He discusses the use of conscientious objectors as smokejumpers during the war through the Civilian Public Service program (CPS). Cooley also recalls the smokejumper program training men for the military during the war, including the all-African American 555th Battalion. He describes the transition to using returning military veterans after the war, the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, and the filming of Red Skies of Montana. He talks about returning to run the smokejumper program in 1958 and offers his thoughts on its future.
Smokejumpers Montana Biography; Smokejumping Montana History; World War, 1939-1945 Conscientious objectors; Forest fires Montana; Red Skies of Montana
Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Collection, OH 133, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula
University of Montana--Missoula. Mansfield Library
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Oral History Number
1 sound cassette (01:30:00 min.) : analog + 1 transcript (20 pp. : 28 cm.)
Cooley, Earl, "Earl Cooley Interview, June 20, 1984" (1984). Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Project. OH 133-021.