It was this plane, on August 5, 1949, that carried 15 firefighters they called “smokejumpers” to a wildfire in Mann Gulch, in Montana’s Helena National Forest. The story is a tragic one, as 13 died there when the fire went out of control. The C47 airplane was purchased by the museum last year as a memorial to all fallen firefighters.
“It’s the only museum like this in the U.S. as far as mountain flying goes,” said the founder of the aviation museum, Stan Cohen.
Cohen’s museum is housed in a hangar at the Missoula airport. He says it’s the home of “tough pilots, tough planes and tough flying,” and features planes, props and posters.
“Not only mountain flying artifacts and photographs but smoke jumping artifacts, since Missoula was the home of smokejumping though out the early years and today too,” Cohen added.
The museum will continue to preserve the planes and remember those who jump out of them, with a leap of faith in Montana.
For More Information:
Address: 4505 US Highway 10 West
Missoula, MT 59808-5634
Telephone: (406) 721-3644