“As a poor young man from Benton City, my father could not find work and with three sisters, I had to take advantage of the new government program that put young men to work. I served three, six-month stints in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1938-1939. I earned $1 a day, was allowed to keep $8 a month and the rest was sent home to my father. Although my base camp was at Goldendale, our supervisors came from the Army base at Vancouver Barracks. Our camp went to Vancouver Barracks about three times to work on projects there such as painting the inside and out of buildings, cutting wood, and even playing volleyball! I had never played volleyball before, but the officers said they needed me for a team, so I played. I thought the Vancouver Barracks and Officers Row was pretty fancy for an old apple knocker!
Our Army supervisors encouraged us to join the Army after our CCC service, but I wanted to join the Navy. Had I gone into the Army then, I would have been sent to the base in Hawaii that was so heavily bombed during the Pearl Harbor attack.”
William Klinefelter, 89, lives in Clark County.