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A Ferron, Utah CCC member on a bulldozer working on building roads, 1935. Courtesy of the Emery County Archives via Mountain West Digital Library

End of the Program and World War II

Towards the end of the 1930s, there was starting to be less demand for the work relief programs provided by the CCC. The improved economy in the late 30s also led to increased desertion among the CCC men. There were also isolated incidents of revolts or refusal to work in a small number of camps. The sudden death of the director of the CCC Robert Fechner in 1939 also contributed to administrative difficulties within the program.

The military involvement with the CCC had occasionally been a source of tension between those who viewed the program solely as a work relief program and those who saw opportunities for recruitment of young men for the military. In response to the war in Europe, in the early 1940s the CCC camps were also doing basic military drills in addition to their regular work.

The Army benefited greatly with practices of logistics, transportation, and discipline through managing the CCC. The men of the CCC who enlisted in World War II were already used to military discipline and having to live and work alongside a variety of other men. CCC camps helped with logistical support on military bases in the early 1940s. After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the CCC camps that were not contributing to the military effort were closed. Funding for the program was eliminated in 1942.