MISS MONTANA MARKS ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY

The Missoula-based Museum of Mountain Flying Douglas C-47 N24320 Miss Montana, which proved so popular during its trip to Europe for the D-Day commemorative events in June, dropped 13 wreaths over Mann Gulch near Helena, Montana on 5 August to commemorate the 13 smoke-jumpers who died after parachuting from ’24320 to fight a wildfire exactly 70 years earlier (see ‘The Big Lift’, Aeroplane August 2019).

Three passes were made over the site to drop the wreaths and 13 bouquets. On board Miss Montana for the memorial flight were the niece and nephew of Eldon E. Diettert, who was 19 and in his first season as a smoke-jumper at the time of the tragedy. They have donated their box of memorabilia to the museum, including many personal items.

img_11-2.jpg
The 13 wreaths in front of Miss Montana at Helena Airport, Montana on 5 August. VIA BRYAN DOUGLASS