Russell C. String, Enrollee, Company 1258, Camp Saddle Mountain, SP-11, Seaside, Oregon / New Jersey National Guard / Chief Ship's Serviceman, USN

Biograpy of Russell C. String

Enrollee, Company 1258, Camp Saddle Mountain, SP-11, Seaside, Oregon

New Jersey National Guard

Chief Ship's Serviceman, USN

   I was a high school dropout and truant, and my father and a friend, who was a politician, decided that the Civilian Conservation Corps was the place for me. I was interviewed in Camden, New Jersey and sent to Camp Dix (now Fort Dix), New Jersey. After indoctorination, I was enrolled April 6, 1937, CC2-202940. I was shipped by train to Camp Saddle Mountain, SP-11, Company 1258, Seaside, Oregon.

   The CCC Camp was designated as a Forestry Service Camp. We cleaned up the dead trees and made paths through the forest, built parks in the mountains, and participated in fighting forest fires. I was able to go on several of these fires. On one we came acrossed a black cherry tree filled with fruit. We chowed down and one of the men decided to open one up. It was full of worms. We didn't eat any more of those cherries.

   I found that I could volunteer to take other members kitchen police duties for money. I eventualy took a job in the kitchen, I worked my way up to Second Class Cook. As a cook, we worked day on and day off, so I took a job with the farmer who picked up the garbage at the camp, and helped around the farm for a dollar ($1.00) a day. I entered a boxing contest and became a member of the camp boxing team. In a match at the army base, in Vancouver, Washington, I won the welterweight (145lb) 9th Corps Area Boxing Championship. I did not save any newspaper clipping of my boxing career as I felt it would be bragging. I was honorably discharged the 20th day of July 1938 to accept employment at RCA Victor, Camden, New Jersey.

   At RCA Victor, I worked in 3 Building, on the third floor. Before we were married, my wife worked in 3 Building on the fourth floor. She was a hand sander on cabinets. I was a Junior and glued on labels, also used a staple gun to place a wire in the cabinets like an antenna.

   I also entered the New Jersey National Guard. I was discharged from the National Guard upon the president's call to active duty in 1940, because I was married and had a child.

   Just before the war started I moved to the New York Ship ship building company in Camden, New Jersey. I was hired as a Linerman. That is like an apprentice. I also went to school at the shipyard to become a Shipfitter. We worked with plans and designs, I can't remember the proper title at this time, and put the ship together from the keel up to the superstructure. I worked on the Princeton, the South Dakota and several others before I entered the Navy. I became a second class shipfitter before going into the Navy.

   In 1942 I enlisted in the U.S Naval Reserve in Philadelphia, Penna., as a Ship's Cook 3rd Class due to my service in the National Guard. In 1946 I was promoted to Chief Commissary Steward. The Bureau of Naval Personnel authorized me to change my rate to Chief Ship's Serviceman. In 1951 I was assigned to the U.S. Navy Examining Center in Great Lakes, Ill. and wrote the examinations for the Ship's Serviceman examinations. I served in Navy Recruiting, New Construction and transferred to the U.S. Naval Reserve in 1967, retiring 1 January 1970.

   I am entitled to wear the Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal (6) stars; Navy Unit Citation; World War Two Victory Medal; National Defense Service Medal; Phillipine Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, Phillipine and Korean Presidential Medals.

----- Russell C. String

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