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Joseph died March 28, 1993, at age 81. He was born August 16, 1911 in Muncie, IN. He was a descendant of many generations of Quakers and served with the CPS-103 smokejumpers at Missoula during WWII. Joseph was drafted out of Muncie, Indiana, and his listed occupation at that time was Teacher. He joined the CPS smokejumper unit but was injured on his second practice jump and finished that season on a Lookout. He came back in the 1944 season and had ten practice and two fire jumps. Joe returned again in the 1945 season and got three practice and five fire jumps. He received his Bachelor's degree in Engineering from Purdue in 1933 and his Master's from the University of Michigan in 1946. He taught applied mechanics at Purdue from 1936-42 before entering the Civilian Public Service. After WWII he taught at Lehigh University from 1946-48, Montana State 1948-53, 1954-55 at Michigan State. He then returned to Lehigh and taught until his retirement in 1980.

Osborne was interviewed as part of a smokejumper oral history project currently housed at the University of Montana (UM) Archives and Special Collections. You may read or listen to the transcript by going to the UM digital collections here:



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


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Osborn, Joseph C. (Missoula 1943)