Biography of Henry Weaver
CCCman, Company 3710, Camp Waterville & Camp Maple Lake, Minnesota
75th Troop Carrier Squadron, 9th AF, USAAF
My name is Henry Weaver. I joined the CCCs in 1940 in Kansas City Missouri. I can not recall any training as such was sent to Jefferson Barracks, St Louis Mo if we got any training it would have been here. We got $.8.00 a month ourselves and sent $22 home.
I was then assigned to Camp 3710, Waterville, Minnesota. I am sure the official name was probably Co 3710, we called it Camp 3710. We were SCS (Soil Conservation Service) camp, prior to my joining it they built the Second largest dam in Minnesota at Owetonna.
The camp was initially at Waterville Minnesota but in the summer of 1940 we moved to Maple Lake, Minnesota. There we drained swamps, on one lake that had a strip of land going out in the lake we dug that out. Can't remember what we done on swamp drainage, other than stop water from coming in or draining off the water that was there. Mosquito Control in Minnesota is like pouring a cup of water in the ocean and trying to raise the tide. We said they did not put up screen at the windows, they put up chicken wire and the big ones would push the little ones through and the little ones would open door and let big ones in.
During the Bad snow storm on Nov 11 we dug people that were stranded in their cars out. Worked out in temp that hit 40 below. Made face mask out of G I blanket. Every body burnt the bottom of their overcoats from being too close to barrel heater.
I can remember when we moved from Waterville to Maple Lake. We took the Barracks apart at Waterville Minnesota and hauled them up to Maple Lake and reassembled them But the places where they bolted together was not tight. The first snow storm we had snow came into the barracks where the barracks were bolted on the sides. There were 6o Missouri boys in the camp and the rest Minnesota boys a lot of rivalry. One of our pieces of equipment was the drag line, which was like a steam shovel scooping up dirt or sand. One job we were on we were haulin wet sand from the pile the dragline left running on 2x12 about 2 feet off the ground and the Mo boys would run wheel barrows while Minn boys piled sand on them and then we would trade . Very difficult to hold wheel barrow upright while about 12 shovels full of sand hitting one side. We had mess hall and head quarters Building and first aid building and that was all. Our rec hall was the beer joint in town.
The town I think had mixed reactions to us, I am sure some mothers thought some of us would try to ravish their daughters, and some did. They had a beer bust one time out at the lake and the locals had a hard time getting to the bar because of us. Young kids at that age with a little beer in them can make real arses of themselves. And of course that was our favorite recreation activity, drinking beer.
We didn't have much other entertainment in town. There weren't any movie theaters. We didn't have movies in our camp either, as I have been told some CCC camps did.
Work was hard food was good. Anyone around from those camps?
In the AAF I was aircraft crew chief on C 47 hauling paratroopers, gasoline, ammo, C and K rations, and clothes from England to France. I was in 75th Troop Carrier Squadron. The 75th Troop Carrier Sqdn was one of many in England, We were 9AF and at one time we were in the 1st Allied Airborne. The squadron later moved to France. During the Battle of the Bulge the Army needed Cannon fodder, because they had lost so many when the Germans broke through. They were taking non essential draftees and transfering them to Infantry. I asked to be transferred because I had a brother in Combat Engineers, And thought I could see him. Went back to England as a Infantry man and came back to France as Instructor in Infantry O C S school. They took all of the Instructors out of the School and sent them home when they had all been wounded, and we fell in to the job, 60 ex air force teaching anti tank tactics to guys that had been up front fighting , Stupid, most of what we taught was useless.
----- Henry Weaver
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