Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy
"Passing the Legacy to Future Generations"  

Webb Harrington - Camp Zigzag 1935

Webber Harrington served at Co. 928, Camp ZigZag, OR in 1935.  Below is his personal story, that appeared in the pages of the "Oregon CCC Alumni Memories" which were personal accounts compiled between 1971 - 1996.  Mr. Harrington was a NACCCA/CCC Legacy member and did much to bring awareness to the CCC in Oregon.

Thanks for your service. 

I have often said that I was a poor farm boy who got lucky.  Probably the luckiest thing that ever happened to me was the fact that I was accepted as an enrollee in the C.C.C. in October 1935.  I had graduated from high school in May 1933 prior to my 16th birthday.  It was nearly impossible to get a job in 1933, especially if you were a small, undernourished 16 year old.  For the next two years I helped my widowed mother eke out a living on a stump ranch in Rainier, Oregon, most by milking cows and selling cream for $2.00 for a five gallon can. 

I eagerly applied to the C.C.C. in early October 1935 but was rejected by the medics at Vancouver Barracks because I only weighed 102 pounds and the requirement for acceptance was that an enrollee must weight 107 pounds.  I went back to the farm ate everything I could to put on weight, and reapplied at Vancouver Barracks on October 28, 1935.  I weighed 109 pounds and was accepted.  Seventeen days later it was my great good fortune to be assigned to Co. 928, Camp Zigzag in the Mt. Hood National Forest.  

Camp Zigzag was a wonderful camp for many reasons.  Nearly all of our enrollees were high school graduates who just couldn’t get jobs in the depth of the depression.  It was close enough to Portland that the enrollees could enjoy week-end leave at home or in Portland.  Most of the enrollees at Zigzag were from Clackamas and Multnomah counties.  We had outstanding officers and many talented enrollees who attained prominence in business and the professions after their tour of duty in the C.C.C.

One of our commanding officers was Capt. James M. Carr, who had been a buck private in the Marine Corps in World War I, and later served as an Infantry officer under General George Marshall at Fort Benning, Georgia.  Apparently Capt. Carr was one of General Marshall’s favorite officers.  As a result, General Marshall, who then was Commanding General at Vancouver Barracks, visited Camp Zigzag quite frequently and several of our enrollees, including myself, attracted his attention.  As a result, some of us received letters of commendation from General Marshall for our work in the C.C.C.  The letter which I received from General Marshall is one of my most treasured possessions.  

Capt. Carr was a dynamic leader.  Those of us who worked closely under him naturally learned a great deal.  When I enrolled in the C.C.C. I was a beat kid with little confidence in myself.  After working for Capt. Carr as company storekeeper and supply sergeant I acquired confidence in myself which I never lost.  I firmly believe that experience was what enabled me to become a CPA and eventually the group managing partner of the Northwest offices of one of the largest international public accounting firms.  

Probably the greatest thing that I gained from the C.C.C. was the lifelong friendship of several enrollees who were the leaders and assist Leaders of Camp Zigzag.  There were some of the finest men which whom I could ever have been associated.  All of them attained success in their chosen fields.  Several served their country brilliantly in World War II.  One of them, Otis Potter, who served as the Crew chief on the rock work at Timberline Lodge and was later First Sergeant at Zigzag, was killed in the march of Death on Bataan.  

Most of our old “overhead” at Zigzag have had frequent contact with each other, in some cases have worked together, and have shared both good times and bad for the past sixty years.  I shall always be grateful for the lifelong friendship of these outstanding leaders of Co. 928, all of whom have been involved in Oregon C.C.C. Alumni:

Elmer Ingle (First Sergeant) who became a district Manager of Investors Diversified Services
Delmar Westlund (Company Clerk and later First Sergeant) who had a fine career at American Can Co. and the U.S. Postal Service.
Dan Snyder (Forest Service Clerk and later Secretary for the Commanding Officer at Vancouver Barracks) who became secretary of Norpack Foods, Inc., the largest food processor in the State of Oregon.  
Bob Miller (Truckmaster) who became an executive in the auto insurance business.  We lost Bob a couple of years ago but his widow, Eleanor, remains interested and involved in Oregon C.C.C. alumni.

Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanac:  “No better relation than a prudent and faithful friend.”  That statement is certainly true regarding my buddies from Camp Zigzag.  

Now you know why I say I was a poor farm boy who got lucky.  
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