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Elmer W. Neufeld ( Cave Junction 1944 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

Elmer Neufeld died June 18, 2001, in Boise, Idaho, at age 80. He grew up in Inman, Kansas, was a member of the Mennonite Church, and was drafted into the Civilian Public Service as a Conscientious Objector in 1942.

While at a CPS camp in 1943, he heard of the CPS-103 smokejumper unit that was being formed. Elmer was accepted in 1944 and joined the jumpers at Cave Junction, Oregon. In 1945 he transferred to the North Cascades Smokejumper base, where he worked until 1970. He was one of the few Conscientious Objectors to be hired as smokejumpers after WWII.

In the spring of 1970, Elmer became a technical representative for a fire retardant company and worked that position for the next 16 years. From 1986 until 1996, he ran the retardant base for a contract company which provided retardant for the USFS and BLM in Boise.