CCC Company and Camp Designations, Nomenclature
How CCC Units Were Identified
The CCC was a huge service spread across the Continental United States and its Territories. Although there were Army run higher headquarters as well as civilian Educational Staffs which were organized at regional levels, the men themselves served in only one type of unit, the CCC Company. These Companies were the basic unit of organization of the CCC and consisted of a few hundred, more or less, Enrollees plus Technical Staff and Military Officers. Once formed these companies would be assigned to CCC Camps, which would be their base of operations and home until their project was finished. Once a project was complete, the Camp would likely be abandoned by the Company which would move on to a new Camp near its next project. Often if not always, the new camp would have to be constructed and at times by the CCC men themselves.
Thus there were two basic delineations of a CCC unit, the first and most salient being its Company Designation. This would be a number as set forth below. Thus a CCC man when asked what his unit was would say, "Company 1234" for instance. But this may mean a unit at any given time or place in its history. This brings in the next designation which is the Camp designation. As mentioned already the Camp is where the CCC man ate, slept and lived between work. It was his home away from home and it had a name, designation and address. The Name would be anything and I do not know how it was determined, some seem to be named after persons, possibly CCC men or staff who had passed away though this is only speculation on my part. Most often, however, the Camp name was derived from some local placename such as "Beaver Lake". Thus the Camp would be "Camp Beaver Lake", a name which would usually be no more informative as to locality or function of a camp than a typical BoyScout Camp name.
The actual Camp Designation which was a unique letter and number combination such as MC-54, and was more meaningful than the camp Name. The first set of letters would tell what organization the camp was assigned to as set forth below while the number was its unique identifier - this being the sixth camp of that type.. Though not always used, the State Abreviation would follow the number such as MC-54-DE. I do not know if this means that there might also be a MC-54-NJ or if such a listing was just meant to be helpful. I doubt this is true since I suspect there were not 54 Mosquito Control Camps in Delaware.
The third and final aspect of a Camp Identification would be the address or location, meaning the town closest to the Camp - this being where the Company would receive its mail. Sometimes this would actually be used as the Camp Name as well. For instance rather than being Camp Happy Valley near Pottstown, the Camp would just be known as Camp Pottstown. I have seen such useage however I do not know if it was due to no other Camp name existing or if the name just didn't catch on.
In summary Camp Happy Valley, MC-54-DE, Magnolia, Delware would be a Camp near Magnolia Delaware (Note I am making up Happy Valley, I do not know Camp name for this Camp). Combined with the Company Designation, Co. 1291 for instance, one would know exactly what unit was being referred to, where it was located and what general type of work it was performing. For the researcher all of these should be known as the National Archives will need the Camp Designation (MC-54) and State to look up info on the company. The NACCCA will need the place name of the camp to provide information and anyone trying to find the camp will need this as well (or to call nearby State or National Park to get info) while many CCC men will identify in stories their Camp Name while photos and artifacts most often show the Company Number or Camp Name. Luckily once you have a man's CCC discharge and service records, all of the above information (except Camp Name I think) will be revealed.
As set forth below, the Company and Camp Designations also will contain some information on the makeup and origin of the Company and Camp.
The Following is excerpted from CCC Enrollees Handbook.
Each Company is designated by a number. The company number indicates the Army coprs area in which the company was formed, the third diget (sic) from the right corresponding to the corps area. Numbers from 100 to 199, from 1100 to 1199, 2100 to 2199, etc., indicate companies originated in the First corps area. Numbers from 200 to 299, from 1200 to 1299, 2200 to 2299, etc., indicate companies originated in the Second corps area. The same follows for the other corps areas. (Curator's Note, Companies Could and Did move at times out of corps area and indeed as far as across the continent so this only indicates where company was formed to start with, not necessarily its only location of service)
The Following is excerpted from CCC Enrollees Handbook.
Camps are designated such as: P-63; SP-4; F-7; NP-2; SCS-6, S-52. The letters indicate the technical service or division thereof. Following each is a letter designating the state. The designations, by services, are:
A - Bureau of Animal Industry;
BS - Bureau Biological Survey;
BR - Bureau of Reclamation;
DG - Division of Grazing (from Ed Braun);
DS - Grazing Service Note from CCC Veteran Ed Braun "We were in the Grazing Service. Our designation was D G 115 meaning Division of Grazing 115. I presumed we were associated with the Dept. of the Interior. Far be it from me, to argue with a Hand Book? ha ha";
F - National Forest (U.S. Forest Service);
GF - Land Grant;
GLO - General Land Office;
MC - Mosquito Control;
MP - Military Park (National Park Service);
NA- National Arboretum (Bureau of Plant Industry);
NHP - National Historical Park (National Park Service);
NM - National Monument (National Park Service);
NP - National Park;
P - Private Forest (U.S. Forest Service);
S - State Forest (U.S. Forest Service);
SCS - Soil Conservation Service;
SP - State Park (National Park Service)
Curator's Note, The above listing though probably meant to be complete at time written is not. I have added MC which I know to exist and will add others as determined, new ones to be noted in Blue. Please let me know of any you are aware of. Also the Federal Organizations which ran a Camp may have records separate from other CCC records as to that camps work and personnel. If you can trace the organization to a current one or locate its archives you may be able to find out useful information on the CCC Camp and its Company. If you do this successfully, let me know contact information for posting here.
The follwing indicates the breakdown of information in a Sample CCC designation.
|Company Number, Only One Company With This ID||Camp Designation, Unique||Camp Name||Location of Camp|
|Company 1295||MC-54-DE||Camp Whoozie||Magnolia, DE|
|The 2 in second slot means formed in 2nd Corps Area||Mosquito Control #54 in Delaware||Meaningless Name||Where Mail goes, nearby town|
----- Thanks to John B. Derden for Enrollee Handbook Information
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