Joe Gutkoski Interview, July 22, 1984


Joe Gutkoski


Dan Hall



Download Audio Interview (71.1 MB)

Download Transcript of Joe Gutkoski Interview (359 KB)


Joe Gutkoski describes his experiences as a smokejumper from 1950 to 1963. He discusses the training facilities at the Nine Mile Ranger Station in Montana, as well as the duties of a squad leader and a foreman, both of which he worked as during his career. Gutkoski describes the aftermath of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, including the U.S. Forest Service’s investigation of it. He also talks about being a part of the first experiments of jumping out of a helicopter without a parachute in 1954, fighting fires throughout the western United States, and experiencing the rivalries between different smokejumper bases.


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Document Type

Oral History


Smokejumpers Montana Biography; Smokejumping Montana History; Smokejumping Equipment and supplies; Forest fires Montana

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 /

Oral History Number

OH 133-043

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (60 min.) : analog + 1 transcript (17 p. : 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:58:48 minutes

Local Filename

OH_133_043.mp3; OH_133_043.pdf

Joe Gutkoski Interview, July 22, 1984
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