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Robert L. Martin ( Missoula 1941 )

posted: Nov 2, 2015

Bob, 98, died October 25, 2015, in Polson, Montana. When in high school in Oregon, he left home and walked and rode the rails to Montana where he finished high school in Missoula. Bob worked for the Forest Service as a lookout and smoke chaser before joining the smokejumpers in Missoula in the second year of the program. He was 24 years old in his rookie season.
He enlisted in the Army Air Corps shortly after Pearl Harbor and was deployed to North Africa where he served as a crew chief and gunner on 50 combat missions.
After the war he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic and shop foreman. In 1949 he bought logging equipment and spent the next 30 years as a contract logger in Montana.
In retirement he worked as a gunsmith and with snowmobiles where he invented and patented a snowmobile brake.