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Stewart Whisman ( Missoula 1953 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

After graduating from high school in 1952, Stewart worked for the Forest Service in Montana spotting fires. The following year he was accepted at Missoula for his first year of training as a smokejumper. During his three seasons as a jumper he would also jump out of Silver City, NM.

He spent four years in the Navy as a Parachute Rigger and was assigned to the carrier, USS Valley Forge, whose home port was Norfolk, VA. While there he became a member and President of the Norfolk Sport Parachute Club and performed many demonstration freefalls in the area. Having logged over 106 freefalls by 1960, he obtained some notoriety by passing a baton to a fellow club member. At this time there were only 20 other successful attempts. While doing a competiton jump at Fort Benning, GA, he severely injured his ankle in a bad landing.

He returned to college and was making plans to sail around the world. His dream was ended in May 1962 when he was killed in an automobile accident near Auburn, CA.