Thursday, October 22, 2015

A Boyhood in the CCC

It's been fun poking around at the documentary evidence and the physical remains of a couple of CCC camps up north.  While doing so I ran across, of all things, an obituary that was relevant.

Donald Eugene Fisher was born in Beloit, Wis., on June 1, 1925. The son of a career Army officer, he moved frequently with his father's changing duty stations. He spent his youth in northern Wisconsin where his father was commanding officer of depression-era CCC (Civilian Conservation Corp) camps at Cable, Wis. (Camp Cable); Seeley, Wis. (Camp Smith Lake); and Townsend, Wis. (Camp Boot Lake). Don attended Madison West High School when his father became executive officer of Camp Madison (now the University of Wisconsin Arboretum).

On his 17th birthday in 1942, Don joined the Navy and volunteered for PT boat service. He saw action on D-Day in the English Channel during the Normandy invasion and later in the South Pacific until the Japanese surrender. During his service he earned three Purple Heart medals for injuries sustained in combat as well as numerous other awards for the actions in which his boat and squadron were engaged.
His later life was quite distinguished as well, he became President and CEO of an insurance company.
When I went looking for a photo of him, perhaps of his boyhood growing up in the CCC camps of northern Wisconsin, I found this:

His US Navy pants are now at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in Madison which mentions in the associated notes that Mr. Fisher was wounded three times in 1944 including on D-Day.  
I wonder if somewhere in the background of my pictures of Camp Cable and Camp Smith Lake we might spy a gangly youth who looks just a little young to be a CCC recruit?

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