Biography of Woodrow W. Harrelson
Company Commander, Worley and other Camps in Idaho & Mena, Arkansas
Col., WWII, USA
I was an officer in the CCC for five years, from October 5, 1936 to February 3, 1941.
I was second in command of a group of 200 Arkansas boys and took them to Worley, Idaho, in the Fort George Wright District. I served there in Idaho until August 15, 1938. Most of that time as Company Commander in three or four different camps. I had almost no discipline problems.
Toward the end in Idaho, I was given the job of taking them into a remote wilderness area and building a new camp. We went on a train to a point where the train stopped and let us, our tents, and some equipment off. From there we built a road back into the wilderness to our camp site. I was the survey officer and placed the corner marks for all the buildings. I was the PX officer out of my tent, self service. I was the doctor, sewed up an axe cut, knees, probed nail holes in feet, swabbed sore throats et cetera. We were in tents with snow a foot deep.
When Thanksgiving came I asked for volunteers to work and they all volunteered. When Christmas cam I could give them all five days Christmas leave or or five days New Years leave plus five days annual leave, but they were required to work at least one day between the two leaves. I gave half of the Company the annual leave, plus one day comp time for Thanksgiving and five days for Christmas. The other half did the same deal at New Years. So they all had 11 days straight of leave.
The Camp was built on August 15, 1938 and I came back to Arkansas and commanded a camp near Mena, Arkansas until I was called into the Army to train troops for the coming war, this on February 3, 1941.
The C.C.C. men were paid $30 per month but $25 of that went home to their parents. But when I left to go into the Army my men gave me a very nice new suit as a parting gift.
----- Woodrow Harrelson, Col. (U.S.A. ret.)
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