Smokejumpers of the Civilian Public Service in World War II

Conscientious Objectors as Firefighters for the National Forest Service

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About the Book

This is the story of Civilian Public Service smokejumpers, who battled against dangerous winds, searing heat, and devastating fires from 1943 until 1945. Fewer than 300 World War II conscientious objectors served their country in this fashion, operating out of CPS bases in Montana, Idaho, and Oregon. But that small band of men helped to keep alive Forest Service operations in the Pacific Northwest and thus sustained a program to fight potentially crippling fires. When the war ended, CPS smokejumpers, like millions of World War II combat soldiers, were “ushered out” of wartime service. Some, like many returning GIs, encountered difficulties in adjusting to civilian life. Nevertheless, the one-time smokejumpers often went on to make other remarkable contributions to their communities, their nation, and the world.

About the Author(s)

Robert C. Cottrell is a professor of history and American studies at California State University, Chico. He is also the author of Blackball, the Black Sox, and the Babe: Baseball’s Crucial 1920 Season (McFarland, 2002). He lives in Chico.

Bibliographic Details

Robert C. Cottrell
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: 22 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2533-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8326-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Conscientious Objection      9

1. The Reunion      17
2. The Originator: Philip B. Stanley      25
3. The Director: Roy E. Wenger      39
4. The Committed: Oliver Petty      57
5. The Methodist: T. Richard “Dick” Flaharty      65
6. The Academic: Gregg Phifer      77
7. The Three-Timer: Earl Schmidt      93
8. A Man of God: Lee Hebel      98
9. The Flying Pastor: Alan Inglis      113
10. The Carpenter: Wilmer Carlesen      123
11. The Actor: Joe Coffin      131
12. From the Disciples of Christ to Non-Belief: George S. Leavitt      140
13. A Kindred Spirit: Tedford Lewis      148
14. The Rebel Looking Northward: Roy Piepenburg      155
15. The Resister: Norman Moody      171
16. The Quaker: Robert H. Painter      178
17. The Mennonite: James R. Brunk      187
18. Montana’s Native Son: David V. Kauffman      196
Denouement      205

Chapter Notes      207
Bibliography      217
Index      221