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Lyle, 93, of Huson, Montana, died April 5, 2022. He was born February 9, 1929, in Williston, ND, and grew up in Missoula. Lyle jumped at Missoula 1948-51, 58, and 1961. In a 2004 interview, Lyle recalled smokejumper adventures and friends. He said he just missed being assigned to the Mann Gulch Fire because he was returning from an assignment in Republic, Wash., and missed that flight by half a day. “Because the smokejumpers represented the most advanced parachute technology in the world at that time, with elite men like Jim Waite (MSO-40) and Frank Derry (MSO-40) pushing the state of the art with their innovations, the CIA turned to the smokejumpers for help with a secret mission after the war,” Lyle recalled. He was one of five or six men from Missoula recruited to serve his country. “We can't tell you where you're going, but this will take the place of your required military service,” he was told by the recruiter. Lyle, who was in the Naval Air Corps ROTC at the time, accepted the assignment. He soon found himself in Taiwan, giving parachuting training to units that served the nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek. The smokejumpers also trained the units in survival techniques to prepare for dropping behind enemy lines on the mainland. Among the other men with him in Taiwan, he recalled Jack Wall (MSO-48), Herman Ball (MSO-50) and Wally Dobbins (MSO-47). Lyle played softball into his 80's and won many events in the Senior Olympics including horseshoes, basketball, and sprints. He spent his later days building a home on the Clark Fork River with his wife, Louise.



Publication Date

April 2022


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


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Grenager, Lyle Quinn (Missoula 1949)