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F. James "Jim" Clatworthy ( Missoula 1956 )

posted: Feb 20, 2018

Prof. Emeritus F. James “Jim” Clatworthy (MSO-56), Life Member, died January 10, 2018, in Port Huron, MI, at the age of 82. He worked two summers (’54 & ’55) under Ranger Skip Stratton (MSO-47) on the Canyon Dist., Clearwater N.F., Idaho. Jim jumped at Missoula in 1956, but was injured (cement burns nearly severed both Achilles tendons) just before his ’57 season. He joined the Michigan Air National Guard’s, 107th Photo Recon Squadron in April 1958, and served six years with Honorable discharge in 1964.

Jim helped organize a MSO-56 class 50th reunion as part of the 2006 Trail Projects to renovate the Double Arrow Lookout, Seeley Lake, Ranger District, Lolo N.F. Somewhere under the support beams you’ll find the signatures of the magnificent seven 56’ers, if they haven’t been covered with paint.

The magnificent seven: Jim Clatworthy, Don Courtney, Larry Nelson, Bill Murphy, Roland Pera, Ron Stoleson, and Bob Whaley.

His article, “The Legacy of Skip Stratton and the Ridge Runner” appeared in the July, 2012, issue of the Smokejumper magazine and provides an extensive biography, so check it out in the magazine’s archives. Jim said he will enjoy his “high mountain two-manner” after he passes and will check in from time to time at the Double Diamond Lookout to replenish fond memories of a great workweek and smokejumper fellowship.