Neil, 79, of Grants Pass, Oregon, died Monday, Sept. 25, 2006. During WWII he joined the Navy at age 15 and served two years. After returning from the war in 1946, he trained as a smokejumper and jumped at Cave Junction for the 1946 and 1947 seasons. Neil obtained his commercial pilot's license in 1947 and, in 1948, joined the Air Force. He retired as a decorated Chief Master Sergeant with the rank of E-9 in 1980.
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