Interview With Leo E. Campbell

From the interview with Leo E. Campbell of Redding, CA conducted by Sandra Lizut by phone from the Fort Worden History Center on October 28,Mr. Campbell served at Fort Worden in the 369th EASR Boat Battalion in 1951. Here he relates how he acquired an unusual nickname that followed him throughout his Army days:

“When we got to Fort Lewis there was no coal in our barracks. They had two big heaters and they were full of ashes. We didn’t have any hot water because that stove out there was full of ashes. So I took all the ashes out and I went around to other areas and stole their coal in this big bucket. I kept our barracks and our hot water going. Then they nicknamed me ‘Coal Bucket’ because every time they saw me I had a coal bucket looking for coal.

After Fort Lewis, they sent me on a bus to Fort Worden. I got off the bus in front of the barracks and was looking around when this one guy came out on the upper porch and hollered back into the room, ‘Hey, guys! It’s Coal Bucket.’ And everybody came out to greet me.

…When I got discharged in ’53 from Camp San Luis Obispo, I was in San Francisco in the bus station and I heard a guy holler, ‘Coal Bucket.’ It was a guy from my unit, we palled around and had a few drinks and then he took off for Salt Lake and I went back to Redding.”

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