Biography of Leonard Sherry

President Chapter 39, NACCCA, CCCman, Company 932, Camp Naches, Camp F-70-WA, Naches, Washington

From Chapter 5 NACCCA News-Bulletin, May 1994

     I joined the CCC in Yakima, Washington in July 28, 1937 after having graduated from Marquette High School the previous month and not being able to find employment around Yakima. Since I was born on January 13, 1919 I was approximately 18 1/1 years old when I became an CCC enrollee assigned to Company 932 at Camp Naches, (F-70) just a short distance west of Naches, Washington.

     With my younger brother, Paul, we started our CCC careers as "tree fallers" on the construction of a road. This road was in the Nile Valley and ran from the lookout tower, down the east side of the mountain and finishing what is now know as the Nile Loop.

     Part of the time on this job I also worked with the "powder man" drilling and blasting rock in the way of the road bed. While on this job I became a "40" Caterpillar bulldozer helper/oiler for "Pee Wee" McEvers. One of our other jobs was to pull our dozer to the top of the American Ski Ridge Bowl and then building a path down the hill for a rope tow.

     Later I worked with "Mac" McGlothlen on the '60' Caterpillar crew loading logs and operating a grader. When Mack was discharged I took over running of the '60' Caterpillar gasoline tractor until I was discharged on May 15, 1939 to take a job in Yakima.

     I worked at the Cascade Mill making fruit boxes, helped build a greenhouse at the Fairgrounds for the NYA and was a clerk/deliveryman at Lentz Hardware Co. On August 29, 1942, I married Viola Sherbondy of Yakima, Washington but the 'honeymoon' was cut a bit short as I entered the Army on November 19, 1942. I was sent to Aberdeen, Maryland for training as a diesel mechanic. After graduating diesel tank school, I put in a short stint at Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania in the Transportation Corps and was then sent to Fort Lawton in Seattle.

     From Seattle I went to Adak in the Aleutian Islands in 1943 serving with the Post Engineer Utilities; first on the carpenter crew and later was transferred to the oil stove shop where we installed and maintained oil stoves throughout the island. I was finally promoted to head of the shop and got a Technician Third Grade rating. I held this rating until my discharge from the service on December 7, 1945.

     Viola and I had only one son, Neal, but he has two sons and a daughter. Viola died in 1967 and I married Doel Gattis of Yakima on June 27, 1970. She also had one son and he has two children, one son and one daughter. So no we have five grandchildren.

     I retired as a journeyman plumber in 1981 after working thirty years at the trade. Presently I am in my sixth year as president of the Yakima Valley Chapter No. 39 of the National Association of Civilian Conservation Corps Alumni.

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