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Chet Derry ( Missoula 1940 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

Chet Derry,31, died April 20, 1947 when the Johnson Flying Service plane he was piloting collided with another plane over the airport at Hamilton, Montana.
Chet was one of the four professional parachute jumpers to participate in the USFS 1939 experimental parachute program at Winthrop, Washington. The USFS smokejumper program starting in 1940 was the result of the success of the 1939 experimental program.
Chet went into the Air Corps in 1943 and was a pilot with the Air Transport Command in China and Burma flying the "hump." Upon his discharge from the military in 1946, Chet returned to Missoula and joined the Johnson Flying Service as an instructor and pilot.