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Bill died February 21, 1946, at the age of 26 near Dixie, Idaho, when his plane crashed. He was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on June 18, 1919, and came to Missoula in 1939 to attended Montana State University in Missoula. During his time at MSU he earned his private pilot license through the CAA Student Flying Course in the spring of 1940. As one of the pioneer jumpers he recorded three fire jumps in 1941. Bill, along with Bob Brennan at age 22, were the youngest in the 1941 rookie class. Following his rookie year, he was employed by Johnson Flying Service as a pilot. He married in 1944. The fatal plane crash occurred while he was sowing grass seed over a burned area in the Nez Perce NF and he was caught in a storm. His death left his widow and an infant son. He is buried at the Missoula Cemetery.



Publication Date

December 2010


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


Forest Management

Smokejumper Obituary: Yaggy, William B. (Missoula 1941)