Biography of John E. Peters
CCCMan, Company 3701/3901, Pendleton, Oregon & St. Mary's Idaho
My name is John Peters and I'm 78 years old. I joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in April, 1940. I joined the CCC because my mother was a widow with six children and jobs were not easy to get. I was 17 years old. I joined in New York City and was sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey.
From there I went to Oregon. I got to my camp by train.
The Camp was situated on a Indian Reservation, I believe the area was Gibbons. Our number was either 3701 or 3901. The closest town was Pendleton, Oregon 22 miles away.
I lived in barracks. We had a recreation building where we all played pool, ping pong, checkers and poker. We received mail call every day.
We went to town to see a movie. We had a Forestry officer teach classes in typing, truck driving and one who taught us the basic moves of fencing. They sold a camp booklet, but it was not my group.
The main commanders were either Army or Navy Officers. The main headquarters was Fort Lewis, Washington.
We built some roads and fought forest fires under the direction of the Forest Service. We ate our lunch at the work site as we were too far away from camp to eat there.
After 9 months the camp was closed and we went to St. Mary's, Idaho. Our pay was $30.00 a month. $22 was sent home and we were given $8.00. I spent one year in the CCC's.
I kept in touch with one fellow from Brooklyn, his name was Alexander Baranski. Kept in touch with him when I served in the Navy in World War II, he was in the Sea Bees.
I would recommend the CCC today but I'm sure the young men today would not be interested. I was thankful for the opportunity to be in the CCC.
----- John Peters
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