|Pennsylvania CCC Camp (1941)
Dad's arrival at the Pennsylvania CCC camp when he was 18 years old
was a result of an interesting incident that Bob Pigman described.
According to Bob, Dad joined Bob and friends Elmer Giba and Albert
"Whitey" Hooke in quickly signing up as a group for a CCC camp in
Pennsylvania in 1941.
Siphoning Gas - Laying Low in CCC Camp
Bob said that one day in late spring or early summer in 1941, these
four friends were looking forward to driving around in Elmer Giba's
father's car but couldn't come up with 25 cents among them to purchase
gasoline. Whitey Hooke thought it would be a good idea to siphon gas
from someone's car, and after selecting a car, the group started siphoning
gas. Unfortunately for them, the owner noticed what they were
doing before they could finish getting the gas. Needless to say, the
group scrambled in all directions hoping not to get caught. Fearing
that they would be turned into the police and go to jail, the four
friends banded together and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps
the very next day. Bob said they were on the "lamb" and were using
the CCC as a way of "laying low". Later they found out that the police
were never summoned and their fears of arrest were unfounded. However,
they were already enrolled in the CCC. For Dad, Elmer and Bob, this
would be their second experience in a CCC camp. (Bob Pigman
- July 2002)
The Camp (S-66-P) where the group eventually was assigned is listed
below. This Soil Forestry Program did work developing a nursery where
pine cones were dried and pine seedlings were planted.
Side Camp Arrival - Forewarning of Rough Camp
About 8-10 days after signing up in Homer City, Pennsylvania, the
group of four new enrollees were eventually "volunteered" for assignment
to a "rough" side camp in the mountains near Bellefonte, PA. This
group of "Braddock Boys" was forewarned that the civilian leader at
this side camp was a real "rough neck" of a boss who was feared by
all new enrollees. Although this group considered themselves capable
of taking care of themselves in the event that trouble would arise
because of the "rough neck" boss, they didn't have to worry. After
traveling in a pick up truck over rough roads to reach the Mill Hall
side camp, it turned out that the "rough neck" boss was from Ambridge,
PA and already knew many of the friends that Dad, Bob, Elmer, and
Whitey knew in Braddock. Bob said that this fact made the experience
of the "Braddock Boys" at the camp uneventful.
Short Stay for All Except Bob
||Bob, as it turned
out, was the only one that remained at the camp for the term of
his enrollment. Dad only stayed at this Pennsylvania CCC camp
with Bob Pigman for several weeks before landing a job with US
Steel in Homestead, PA. Dad worked at the Homestead steel mill
as a crane operator until he enlisted in the US Navy on June 29,
1942. Whitey stayed only for about 3 weeks and Elmer went home
for leave one weekend and did not return.
Left is a photo
of Bob Pigman shown with other enrollees who were on, in front
of, and underneath an automobile at Bob's previous CCC camp.
Note: License Number of the CCC Camp automobile in photo: U.S.C.C.C.