The Road Taken to the HDC

Corporal Jordan: Well, probably because of the Depression. In the late thirties, early forties there just weren't any jobs anywhere, especially for young people with limited experience. I just come off a hitch with the CCCs (Civilian Conservation Corps of the New Deal) and like so many of the kids I quit high school in my third year of high school and went out into the woods and went to work. When I got out of the three Cs there still weren't no jobs and I ended up at Port Townsend, Washington. Run into a slick character, a U.S. Army recruiter, who I went fishing with a couple of times, and the next thing you know I was a Private in the Fourteenth Coastal Artillery at Fort Warden, Washington. Well, I had a girlfriend down here at, that was in 1939, had a girlfriend in Portland who I spent quite a little bit of time with in high school and we hadn't really fallen out, we just separated by a couple hundred miles. opportunities came up. Periodically, they post openings in other regiments, you know, for people who want to transfer or what they call takin' a short discharge and going into foreign service 'cause . . . down in Hawaii and the Phillipines, to Alaska and all these places were open and they came up with an opening at Fort Stevens--Eighteenth Coast--so I transferred from the Fourteenth to the Eighteenth Coast Artillery at Fort Stevens. And that made me very accessible to Portland and we resumed the relationship.

Sergeant Thayer: Oh ya, first we, there was a lot of us that went from Oneonta, New York--you've heard of Oneonta Gorge?; up the Columbia River, spelled the same way, it's an indian name. We went down to Camp Upton, Long Island. We were only there just a few days, two or three days, and then they segregated us 'cause there was so many men coming in there. Then we took the train . . . [and] we were in Texas, we went through Arizona, I remember the indians out there selling various blankets and it was amazing through the desert. And then we got to Portland, like I said, ten o'clock at night. But, what was really mind-boggling was the fact that we went, we went to Forest Grove and had, we had a break there, then we went through this, even at the night time I could see where all this forest had been burnt for miles around, Tillamook Burn is what it was, and, and I made several trips during the daytime through it, too. I couldn't believe the devastation that was there. I couln't believe it. It was something I wasn't familiar with.


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Last updated: Jan. 8, 2000.
James C. Scott (e-mail).