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Fred H. Donner ( Missoula 1959 )

posted: May 3, 2022

Fred died April 30, 2022. Originally a prize-winning 4-H Club forester, after one year at the NY State College of Forestry, in 1955 he did spruce budworm damage surveys for the Forest Insect Lab in Montana. In 1956 he was a BLM fire guard on the Fairbanks District. In 1957 he was a Del Rosa Hotshot on the San Bernardino NF. In 1958 he broke a bone on the sixth practice jump and rookied again in 1959 before making five fire jumps. In 1965 he flew aerial observer on the St. Joe NF.

Fred served in Vietnam in the Air Force, with Air America, and a church group. He was a Foreign Service officer in Manila and Wash, DC with two degrees in East Asian studies and retired as a S.E. Asia intelligence analyst from the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Fred wrote around 20 articles for Smokejumper and was the key link in finding the long-lost gravesite of Pfc. Malvin L. Brown, the first smokejumper to die on duty, as well as in formulating the NSA Caterpillar Club.

In 2005, 2006, and 2007 he and his older neighbor were Senior Crosscut Champions at Old Logging Day on the Fourth of July at McGrath, MN, his proudest achievement.