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Richard M. Wilson ( Missoula 1948 )

posted: Nov 9, 2018

Dick, 91, died October 10, 2018, in Sitka, Alaska. He joined the Marine Corps in 1945 at age 17 and was discharged a year later after WWII ended. He later graduated from Colorado State with a degree in Forestry.

Dick was one of the jumpers who went on fires calls early on August 5, 1949. His was a dry run and he returned just in time to see the Doug take off with the Mann Gulch jumpers. Dick worked on the remains recovery crew later that week.

Dick worked his way up through the Forest Service and ended his career as Chatham Area Supervisor of the Tongass N.F. He retired in Sitka in 1982. In his words: “Despite being a Marine and a Smokejumper, I was a gentle man who valued peace.”