Biography of Roy S. Lehman

Enrollee, Company 1220, Carmel, New York & Company 3208, Hiese, Idaho

MM1/C, USS Witchita CA450, USN, WWII

   I was a member of Company 1220, Carmel, New York. Our duties were to find the eggs of gypsy moths and paint them with cresote, not very exciting but very important to get rid of them as they were very destructive.

   I was later sent to Company 3208 in Hiese, Idaho. My job here was dynamiter and bull dozer operator, making a road to the fish hatchery they were building on the warm river. I had a friend here that was my truck driver. He hauled everything I needed. He was from Atco, New Jersey. We remained good friends until he passed away. We both wound up living in Florida.

   I started out running an old cable dozer. Then they got me a hydraulic operated one. It made things a lot easier moving rock. They would drill the holes and we would put a cap in the third stick of dynimite, put it down the hole. Pour free flow in then tamp dirt in. We were only allowed to blow so many then blast. After that push the rock away from the side of the cliff and grade as good as we could. Then we would dump gravel and then grade. This was a job that you could see what you had done at the end of the day.

   There was about a dozen of us that stayed in a spike camp so that we could have things ready when they came from the main camp. We were under the Forestry Department. But the army supplied our food. One time they dropped off meat, we ate beef hearts for a week. We did kill a sheep and ate that.

  When we went to the railroad to pick up dynamite, we would toss the boxes on the truck. The people there would be scared, but without caps no worry unless it is old and sweaty.

   After I left the CCC, I didn't do very well with work for a time. My future wife's father got me in the carpenters union. This was the best job around, 85 bucks a week. I worked there until the draft, then enlisted in the Navy in 1941.

   I went on the cruiser USS Wichita (CA450) April 42. I was in the after engine room for 4 years. I did over 300,000 miles at sea in the Atlantic and Pacific. I was a first class machinest mate.

   I retired from Borough of Lindenwold. I was a volunteer fireman and have an exemption from state of New Jersey. My wife from L.G.W.U.. We have been together since 12/20/41. We have had good times and bad but are hanging on. I am 85 & my wife 82. We had three children and five grand children and now have four great grand children. God has blessed us in many ways.

----- Roy S. Lehman


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