Biography of Ben Johnson
CCCMan, Company 1302, Camp Ostrich Bay, Camp Navy-1, Bremerton, WA & Company 2911, Camp F-85, North Bend, Washington
I was enrolled in Company 1302, Camp Ostrich Bay in Bremerton, Washington in the spring of 1934. I was 18 years old at the time. I worked s a KP & Cook and also Guard at the Ammunition Depot where our camp was located.
We moved to Camp F-85 in North Bend as a unit to become Company 2911. 2911 was the "show camp" of the North West District and a far cry from Ostrich Bay where we had straw ticks for beds and oil drum stoves and tar paper barracks. 2911 had real spring cots, mattresses and sheets, central heating and modern toilets and showers.
I began as a powder crew leader at Denny Creek but was forced to give it up as I had abcessed ear drums. I was then put on as a truck driver hauling a crew to Denny Creek and hauling aload of fire wood back to camp. Then returning to Denny Creek with the noon hot lunch, back to camp and cleaning my truck. Then going back to get my crew and returning to camp. Finally was gassing and parking my truck and quitting for the day.
Later on I was given a new MC dump truck and placed in charge of the fleet building a road around Mt. Si and also building a new Forestry Headquarters at North Bend.
I left the Camp March 1, 1936 and went on WPA at Bremerton, Washington. I have a lot of find memories of the camps and I am a firm believer that the CCC's were the answer to the problems of the youth of that era and should be re-instated now. I am 80 years old now and have said many times that in the 2 years if CCC training I gained 20 years of experience that has served me well.
----- Ben D. Johnson
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