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Bill, 24, died August 6, 1949, in a Helena hospital because of burns from the Mann Gulch Fire on August 5, 1949. He lived in Kalispell, Montana, and, at the age of 17, volunteered for the Navy where he served two years before transferring to the Marine Corps as a medical corpsman and took part in operations in the Pacific theatre. Bill completed high school upon his return from WWII and attended Montana State University for two years, one year at Northern Montana College and was three months away from his degree from Greeley State Teachers College in Colorado with the aim of becoming a science and botany teacher. Bill was married to Geraldine Mather, and they had a son a month and a half old. Two weeks before the Mann Gulch Fire, he took part in an exhibition jump in front of the White House in Washington, D.C.



Publication Date

January 2002


Smokejumping; Smokejumpers -- United States; National Smokejumper Association; Wildfire fighters; Obituaries


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Hellman, William J. (Missoula 1946)