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Jim V. Waite ( Missoula 1940 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

Pioneer smokejumper Jim Waite was born in 1917 in Okanagan, Wa. and grew up in Kooskia Idaho. In 1940, Jim represented the Clearwater National Forest in the experimental project of smokejumping and continued his jumping career through the 1951 season. Soon after, Jim transferred to the US Air Force Air Research and Development Command. His duties included parachute development testing for the Air Force and NASA (including testing of the parachutes for the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo projects. He retired at the end of 1973. At the time of his death, Jim was living in Walla Walla, Wa.