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James "Smokey" Alexander ( Missoula 1940 )

posted: Jun 26, 2014

The last member of the original 1940 smokejumper crew, Jim Alexander, died June 23, 2014. Smokey was one of the eleven original smokejumpers trained in 1940. He was a graduate of the University of Montana and the forest service employee who represented the Cabinet N.F. in the first smokejumper training group.

On July 20, 1940 he and Dick Lynch (MS0-40) jumped the second fire in smokejumper history at the head of Moose Creek in Idaho. They found the fire by coordinating azimuth readings from two lookouts and put it out shortly after smoke started appearing above the trees. The fire was so isolated that it took them 19 hours to walk about 40 miles to the nearest ranger station.

Smokey began Intermountain Business Forms in 1960 while living in Boise. After moving to North Carolina in 1989, he and his wife, Dorothy, returned to Boise in 2005.