Historic Hempstead Plains - Nassau County, Long Island

Mitchel Field's - U. S. Civilian Conservation Corps Camp # 3 (1935).

The US CCC was created by the 73rd Congress.1 To be eligible you had to be between the ages of 18 and 25. You had to be sponsored by your local public assistance department. You were paid $30 a month, you could keep $5 and $25 dollars2 went home to your family. You could enlist for 6 months at a time, you could re-enlist an additional three times. Your maximum length of service was 24 months.1 During its existence the CCC performed much valuable public service. The photo above shows CCC camp #3 on the Hempstead Plains. It was located on the Eastern side of the Camp Mills area. It was built in 19354, Prior to this the CCC volunteers lived in tents on Mitchel Field. The CCC operated in conjunction with the U. S. Army. You were examined by Army doctors and given uniforms (work clothes) by the Army. Part of your time was spent in work assignments and training in useful work skills. The CCC operated with the U.S. Forest Service.5 The Mitchel Field camp was an exception.

This Camp was for Nassau County participants. As such it differed from other CCC camps which were usually composed of various counties and states. This CCC camp served Mitchel Field and was occupied by up to 218 participants. At first, in July of 1935, they were housed in tents. By fall there were six barracks, a mess hall a recreation hall
4. Barracks had a total capacity of 240 men.

Daily life consisted of the following

6 A. M. rise and shine.

7 Hours labor at Mitchel Field,

Evenings free unless you were on special assignment (guard duty, K.P.),

Lights out at 11 P.M.

On weekends all companies except one were allowed to return home. The weekend duty was rotated between companies.

The barracks had electric lights and were heated by coal stoves.

The Camp was open to visitors, you could enter by Commercial Avenue or Westbury Road. The life expectancy of the camp was for one year with a possibility of three years, if funding was provided.

This camp occupied some of the area of the Old Cantonment Hospital that would eventually be built in the 1940s. Seventeen years earlier the northern part of this area was essentially used as lumber yards for the construction of the "permanent" Camp Mills.
 1) Once in a Life Time, A guide to the CCC, Dearborn, Ned, Charles E. Merrill Company

2) I have seen figures of $8 and $22 given.

3) Photo courtesy of the Cradle Of Aviation Museum at Mitchel Field.

4) Hempstead Sentinel -1935 November and July issues.

5) This was the relationship of most CCC camps. The Mitchel Field camp differed as stated above.


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