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Howard died July 19, 1971, in Seattle, Washington. He from graduated high school in Clarkston, Washington, and worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps, Lockheed Aircraft and was a lookout on the Clearwater NF. He rookied at Missoula in 1942 and reportedly was the first person to use the "slotted Derry" chute on a fire jump. Howard got a single fire jump during the 1942 season and four in the 1946 season. Howard then went into the Army Air Corps in WWII as a parachute instructor and later took part in the battle of le Shima as part of the Okinawa campaign. After the war he returned and jumped the 1946 season at Missoula and then attended Farragut College and Technical Institute. Howard then worked as a "body and fender" mechanic and lived in the Seattle area most of his later life.
Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries
National Smokejumper Association, "Smokejumper Obituary: Gropp, Howard M. (Missoula 1942)" (2006). Smokejumper Obituaries. 1098.