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Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?

Related threads:
Lyr ADD Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan) (25)
Lyr Req: Song about a fire tragedy (12)
Help: Song about 13 firefighters dying (3)
Lyr Req: Cold Missouri Waters (James Keelaghan) (5) (closed)


Bill Cameron 17 Nov 99 - 05:10 PM
Bert 17 Nov 99 - 05:23 PM
Jacob Bloom 17 Nov 99 - 05:42 PM
Susanne (skw) 17 Nov 99 - 06:04 PM
Bill Cameron 17 Nov 99 - 07:47 PM
raredance 17 Nov 99 - 08:14 PM
Bill C 17 Nov 99 - 08:56 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Nov 99 - 06:16 PM
Sharon 18 Nov 99 - 06:47 PM
Gorgeous Gary 18 Nov 99 - 10:50 PM
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Subject: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:10 PM

Here's something I've been wondering about for awhile, speaking of historical accuracy. The James Keelaghan song "Cold Missouri Waters"--a brilliant piece of work--recounts the true story of the deaths of a number of forest firefighters in 1949. What's got me is that the song implies that Dodge, the narrator and crew boss, was the only survivor of the crew. Yet it also refers to there being fifteen crew members, and "thirteen crosses high above the cold Missouri waters". Another account I read of this incident--can't remember the name--also said there were fifteen crew members and thirteen deaths, without explaining the discrepancy.

So, was there another survivor? If so, how? Anybody know?

Bill


Related Thread:
http://www.mudcat.org/thread.CFM?threadID=8691


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Bert
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:23 PM

Wasn't there a movie about that?


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Jacob Bloom
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 05:42 PM

There were two survivors in addition to Dodge.

The song doesn't mention that, in addition to the fifteen firefighters who parachuted into the valley, there was also one who hiked in and joined up with crew. When Dodge lit his backfire and stepped into it, the other fifteen firefighters thought he was crazy and kept on trying to run for the ridge. Two of them were fast enough to be able to get to the ridge before the fire caught up with them.

My information comes from an article about the fire that the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine published a month or two ago. There was much more detail, all of it fascinating.


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 06:04 PM

Jacob, that's exactly what Rich R. said in an earlier thread. I can't find it now but here's an interesting link - report of a school project on the Mann Gulch Fire:

http://www.missoulian.com/

Susanne


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Bill Cameron
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 07:47 PM

Thanks Jakob. Wonder if those guys are still alive? Survived that inferno only to fall victim to an Albertan's poetic licence!--now there's irony for ya.

Susanne care to try posting that link again?

Bill


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: raredance
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 08:14 PM

I couldn't find the old thread. A significant link can be found at "wildfiremagazine.com/manngulch.shtml". Quickly suammarizing. There were 16 men at the scene, 15 smokejumpers and a forestry person already on the ground. The jumpers were commanded by Wag Dodge. 11 died directly on the hill. 2 others survived the immediate fire but died the next day in the Helena hospital. Three survived, Wag Dodge who lit the survival fire and jumped in and Robert Sallee and Walter Rumsey who both made to to the top through a narrow gap in the rock ridge.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Bill C
Date: 17 Nov 99 - 08:56 PM

Thanks for the info Rich. This has been bugging me for awhile.

There was a somewhat similar tragedy in Northern Ontario some years ago--I believe 6 teenage Junior Rangers died when a fire surrounded them. I think once again the crew chief survived, but was unable to save them. After that, with the benefit of hindsight the ministry quit sending untrained 17-year-olds into fire zones...

Bill


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 06:16 PM

Bill - sorry, I'm not very good at the blue clicky things, but cut and paste should do the job equally well. Just copy the address into the browser's address section and press 'enter'. - Susanne


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Sharon
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 06:47 PM

Bill: Jame's song does mention the second survivor. The words are "none but two survived".


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Subject: RE: Cold Missouri Waters-2nd survivor?
From: Gorgeous Gary
Date: 18 Nov 99 - 10:50 PM

Bill - Last I heard, Bob Sallee was still alive. He'd encountered Keelaghan's song and had invited James to attend a 50th anniversary commemoration to be held this year at the ridge. James unfortunately couldn't make it--I believe his father passed away around then. There's a link off Keelaghan's page to the US Forest Service report on the fire (http://www.keelaghan.com/).

-- Gary


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