Biography of Edwin W. Taylor

Forester, Company, Southport, North Carolina

   I was at a CCC Camp in Southport, N. C. as a forester. I worked at CCC Camp P-62 - Camp Sapona - from October 1934 to April 1936 as a forestry foreman. The camp was built on the outskirts of Southport, N.C.

   There were two divisions at the camp. The Army that ran the camp under the supervision of reserve officers and in the case of P-62, the forestry section under the direction of the N.C. forestry Service, worked the men.

   The forestry had a camp superintendent, usually a graduate civil engineer, and five or six forestry foremen. We had a camp engineer, blacksmith, and a mechanic to keep up the trucks. We built roads, truck trails, fire breaks, telephone lines and fought fires.

   The Forestry Foreman's crew consisted of approximately 15 to 20 men, one truck and the following equipment: portable water pump (back pack type), fire hoe, fire flaps, axes, cross cut saws and shovels.

   Each work crew pulled fire watch for one week then another crew took over (rotating system). When a call came in reporting a fire, the crew took off and upon arriving at the fire and if there was no State or County fire warden there the Foresty Foreman was on his own and started working on the fire. The location, size,type of woods, direction of wind, dry or wet would determine the action taken. The safety of the crew was always important.

   The first work should be "killing the head" of the fire. If we stopped the "head" and the wind did not change direction, we had it made.

   In the early 1930's fire control was just getting started. There was no equipment as we have today. Just a few telephones and no radios. Usually we had three or four large fires - 50 acres or more and a small fire - 25 acres or less.

   We lived in army type barracks and had our meals in the officers' mess along with the army officers. We had a mess orderly and a barracks orderly.

   There were very few problems with all involved at this camp. We had a great bunch of men at P-62 , for the most part.

----- Edwin W. Taylor

        ewt_helen@yahoo.com

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