Herb Oertli talks about his career as a smokejumper, which began in 1948 and ended in 1960. He describes his training in Missoula, Montana, project work during his first “wet” year, and his jumps out of Silver City, New Mexico, in 1950. Oertli discusses retrieving bodies of fellow smokejumpers after the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, and recalls the aftermath of that tragedy, including impacts on smokejumper morale and changes in Forest Service policies. He also describes working on the movie Red Skies of Montana, and speaks about smokejumping from the viewpoint of a professional jumper, spotter, and manager.
Smokejumpers Montana Biography; Smokejumping Montana History; 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 (90 min.) : analog + 1 transcript (21 p. : 28 cm.)
Oertli, Herb, "Herb Oertli Interview" (1984). Smokejumpers 1984 Reunion Oral History Project. OH 133-079.