Biography of Jack E. Milner
Company Clerk, Assistant Leader, Company 2942,Camp Soda Springs, Yakima, Washington & Company 945, Goldendale, Washington
I am now 82 yrs old and actually have the CCC's to thank for my preparation for service in WWII. In 1936 I enrolled in the 3 C's in Spokane, WA and was sent to a forestry camp (Camp 2942 at Soda Springs near Yakima, Wa on Mt Adams which was real near Mt St Helens that had the big eruption in 1980). It was a spike camp, living in tents and engaged in forestry work, making trails, bridges etc on the mountain. When it came time to leave the mountain as snow fell they transferred us all to Camp 945 at Goldendale, Wa where we lived in barracks located at the local towns Fairgrounds. At that time I was promoted to Asst Ldr and was the Company Clerk. I particularly remember our Camp Commander Capt Richard R. Middlebrooks, a West Point Graduate who later retired as a BG I believe. He was so very handsome in his Cavalry uniform and greatly respected by all who knew him.
I am told CCC men in other camps had footlockers for their gear. 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.
Socially the CCC's were treated well in the far west at least and accepted at social gatherings etc. I guess the thing we looked forward to most was the Saturday night dances put on by the communities near the camps.
About 14 months after I joined the CCC I accepted civilian employment and was separated as an Asst Ldr with a Superior rating for my CCC service. In 1941 I was drafted into the Army and served for 21 years as a Chief Warrant Officer during the war in Germany.
Later I spent 14 yrs in Recruiting Service. As for the criminal aspect I never ran across that in the CCC but after WWII when I was in USA recruiting there were many times that delinquent juveniles who were scheduled for incarceration went before the Judge and he would tell the JAIL or JOIN.
After recruiting I spent a tour of duty as a PX Officer in Osaka, Japan and retired on 1 July 1962. Uncle Sam has been very good to me and I still enjoy good care from the VA in Spokane summers and Phoenix, AZ winters for the past 23 years. My computer keeps me active and my health is as good as can be expected at 82 years.
----- Major Jack E. Milner, USA, Ret'd
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