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William J. "Bill" Hellman ( Missoula 1946 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

Bill died August 5, 1949 along with 11 other Missoula smokejumpers in the Mann Gulch Fire. ..He enlisted in the Navy at age 17 after graduating from high school in 1943. After two years he transfered to the Marines as a combat medical corpsman and took part in the island-hopping invasions in the Pacific. ..Bill attended the U. of Montana, Montana State at Havre and Greeley State Teachers College with the aim of becoming a science and botany teacher. ..He was one of the select group of four to participate in the 1949 jump in Washington, DC.