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D. Russell Palmer ( Missoula 1945 )

posted: Sep 2, 2020

Russ died August 12, 2012. He was born January 9, 1917 in Chester, Pennsylvania. The family belonged to the Friends Church (Quakers). After high school Russ wanted to get into aviation and went to various schools including Penn State, but did not graduate. He landed his first paying job as a welder at a factory in West Trenton, NJ.

Russ was drafted into Civilian Public Service in the fall of 1941. Over the years he was in four or five different camps before being selected for the CPS-103 smokejumper unit at Missoula. He made eight training and six fire jumps that season. He was discharged in December 1945.

After moving around for a number of years, Russ took the job as head mechanic at an airport near Lansdale, PA, where he worked for 19 years retiring at age 65. He moved to the eastern shore of Maryland and sailed his 22 foot sailboat on Chesapeake Bay.