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Archie Keith ( Missoula 1945 )

posted: Jan 1, 2002

Archie, 69, died February 28, 1993, in Ottawa, Illinois. He was born February 24, 1924 and was a member of the Jehovah's Witness Church. Archie was drafted into Civilian Public Service in 1944 from Wedron, Illinois. He jumped at Missoula during the 1945 and had seven training and two fire jumps.

Archie was severely injured on his last fire jump when his chute was collapsed by a snag and he fell about 80 feet to the ground. His right leg was fractured near the hip and his left leg near the ankle. The falling snag landed only a few feet away barely missing Archie. Then began the effort to carry him over 16 miles through deadfall and brush in the dark of night. The crew only made two miles in the first 12 hours. By noon they had made seven miles and were reinforced by eight new jumpers who parachuted in. Dr. Amos Little, a military doctor trained in 1943, was among the group. Archie spent two and a half months in a cast before being released when the camp closed in October.

Archie's occupation in later life is listed as Locomotive Engineer for the Burlington Northern Railroad.