The CCC Enrollees Storage Space
In most CCC Camps, by far, the CCC man had one space in which to store the majority of his belongings in a neat and orderly way to the satisfaction of his Military Commander - his footlocker. This device was usual required and usually had a required method of use and placement in relation to the Enrollees bunk, this being his only personal area while he was in the CCCs. This seemingly rigid custom has its origins in the military and was likely a very good idea. 200 young men would likely make a mess very quickly out of their barracks if rigid rules about belongings were not in place. In time it seems many CCC men grew quite fond of their foot lockers. Many, my Dad included, would keep their lockers for many years. Many still have them today. So what was this foot locker? Here they are described, explained or where their were none, what served in their stead.
At least one enrollee in Company 1538 made his own locker box in a carpentry class provided at the camp. They used leftover wood - orange crates, left over wood from barracks, etc. He used it after the CCC, and it held photos he took there.
Jerry Bayer - I was at Camp Long Lake, Wisconsin in 1941. Yes I did have to buy my footlocker but I bought it from a guy who was leaving. It only cost a couple of dollars. It was an interesting item because some had painted CCC on it and had also painted some pine trees. I don't remember if it was required but it sure was handy to keep my personal stuff in. Yes I did lock it. When I was transferred from Long Lake to Sparta, WI, I took it with me. I just checked it as railroad baggage. The train stopped right in front of the camp office. I took it home from there and had it for years. When I was married I gave it to my dad to store his stuff in. When he died the landlady of his apt. asked me if I wanted any of his things and I said no. Later I found out all of my CCC and army mementos were in it and they were lost forever.
Ed Braun - , Company 3556 D.G.115 (Division of Grazing), Greenriver, Utah - Footlockers in the CCCs, Did you need it -----Like a Dead Man Needs a Coffin---There was nothing else to store anything in and they frowned on things laying around on the floor. I can't imagine anyone selling Foot Lockers. The boys that went into the CCC at that time didn't have 5.00 to their name --I imagine some camps moght have charged for them on a dollar a month plan. But I never heard of anyone buying them. -- This was a standard G I Wood box with a hinged lid -no lock. Color Olive Drab. Name and serial number was stenciled with black paint. They had a Tray approx. 4"deep. Socks and underwear had to be folded and stored in a specific alignment. Personal items were also stored in a small compartment. Lid was raised during all inspections. The F.L. remained at the foot of your bunk when you left. The Foot lockers in the Army were identical to the ones in the CCC and were left at the foot of the bunk. When I was discharged from the Army. The doctors considered my medical condition so life threatening that I was sent directly to the England General Hospital in Atlantic City NJ. I was not permitted to return to camp to get anything or say goodbye to any of my friends. I lost my Dress Uniform and all my personal belongings. They were supposed to be sent to my home but I only received a fragment of what I left behind. After the war--Army surplus stores were selling foot lockers for 5.00 -10.00.
Re: Michale Mihalko, Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks, Pulaski, New York & Company 293, Camp NF-9, Port Angeles, Washington & Company 3224, Camp SCS-9, Washington. I still have my father's footlocker. I have not knowledge about if he had to buy it or not. It is lockable; there is a loop through a tongue through which you could put a lock. It has a tray on top with 3 divided sections. The tray comes out for access to the deeper bottom part. I have not idea about how useful my father found the footlocker, but it stored a lot of his stuff from the CCC and WWII.
Jack E. Milner, Company Clerk, Assistant Leader, Company 2942,Camp Soda Springs, Yakima, Washington & Company 945, Goldendale, Washington - I really don't remember having a footlocker until I was a Recruit in the Army. If I remember right we had a Blue barracks bag to stow our gear and when in barracks had wall lockers.
Re: Lynn Race, CCCMan, New York State and another unknown camp. My Uncle's CCC camp foot locker in nice condition, with a "CCC" with a pine tree in the background stamped (painted?) on the front of it, about the size of a small bumper sticker. It appears this was an "issue" foot locker. My Uncle's CCC Footlocker is light Green in color. The older guys refer to this as "Olive Drab," which I suppose would be a more accurate description of the color. It is obvious the green paint is original. The locker is metal-skinned wood constructed. On it the "CCC" stamp is located and centered perfectly beneath the center latch and carrying handle. The handle is leather and still intact, but is cracked and pretty dried out from storage. As for the CCC stamp, one can tell the locker was produced that way, i.e. the CCC stamp isn't a sticker someone put on it themselves later on. As for a more accurate description of the CCC stamp itself, the "CCC" lettering is white with a light orange outline, and with a dark green pine tree in the background. The work "Locker" in small orange letters is found across the middle of the CCC. The background is gold in color, with a plaid-like trim about 1/4" wide surrounding it. Again, the entire CCC stamp is rectangular and about the size of a small bumper sticker. It measures 6" X 3". The locker itself measures 30" X 16" X 10." My Mom said my uncle gave her this foot locker right after WWII (when she immigrated here, she was a war bride and married my father). She used the locker only once, when she visited England on vacation in the late 1940's. It still has a "Cunard White Star Line" sticker from the Queen Mary on it (mostly peeled of). Since that time the locker has been in her attic. It's something of a miracle that none of us (I have 6 siblings) ever took it away and used it when we went to camp/college/military etc over the years. It's in pretty nice shape but with some light rusting on the exterior metal edges. Luckily the CCC stamp is completely intact with only a few light scratches on it here and there. The interior of the foot locker is immaculate, lined with a light brown flower pattern. It does not appear to have been refurbished.
Norman P. Perkins, CCCMan, Camp F-132, Prichard, Idaho - Foot lockers were part of the government issue to each person the same as bedding and clothing.---They were made of half inch plywood in the camp carpentry shop and they were furnished with a hasp in case the boy wanted to put on a padlock.---Some of the boys bought foot lockers from Sears which were much sturdier, I bought one myself, in fact I still have it now.
Frank J. Schmalz, Senior Leader, Company 765, Camps near Boyes, Montana, Ekalaka, Montana and Mohall, North Dakota - Each man in the barracks had a bed and a footlocker. Foot lockers were a necessity and usually placed at the 'foot' of the bed. Served as a 'strongbox', storage etc. Usually purchased separately by enrollee as his own personal property, usually available for purchase from local canteen. Many were hand-downs from siblings, or purchased new. A place to safely keep valuables, albums, clothing etc. I retained mine, (hand me down from an elder sibling) and have it to this date. Usually in the form of a small trunk they were metal clad. Seldom was it heard of that items so stored enticed others to steal. I never did hear of anyone losing personal items out of the 'foot locker'!!
BACK TO JAMES F. JUSTIN CCC MUSEUM, ANECDOTES EXHIBIT
BACK TO JUSTIN ORAL HISTORY MUSEUM, CCC STORIES
Please Share your Stories! E-mail the Curator to share or discuss or with any questions!