R. Michael Bowman Interview


R. Michael Bowman


Dan Hall



Download Audio Interview (82.6 MB)

Download Transcript of R. Michael Bowman Interview (2.4 MB)


R. Michael Bowman discusses his experiences as a smokejumper and a U.S. Forest Service employee, which began in 1955. Bowman credits Francis Lufkin at the Okanogan Base in Winthrop, Washington, for instilling in him a hard work ethic and giving him a broad experience through his policy of assigning jumpers to a variety of projects, including trail design and maintenance. He talks about developments in the smokejumper program from the perspective of his later career as a Fire Management Officer. He highlights the jump list, the use of helicopters, the prescribed fire program, and the future of the smokejumping program. Bowman also discusses trading smokejumping and firefighting technology with other nations as well as the role of women and minorities in the smokejumping program.


Oral History


Smokejumpers Washington (State) Biography; Smokejumping Washington (State) History; Francis Lufkin; Winthrop, Washington; Female smokejumpers

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Collection, OH 133, 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 Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use of this item. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 / library.archives@umontana.edu

Oral History Number

OH 133-007

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (64 min.) : analog + 1 transcript (17 p. : 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

01:07:37 minutes

Local Filename

OH_133_007.mp3; OH_133_007.pdf

R. Michael Bowman Interview
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