CPS Unit Number 130-01
Unit ID: 1
Operating agency: AFSC
Opened: 2 1944
Closed: 7 1946
CPS Unit No. 130, a Training School unit at the Maine State Training School located in Pownal, Maine operated by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), opened in February 1944. When AFSC withdrew from CPS in March 1946, Selective Service operated the unit until it closed in July 1946. The men served as attendants and in other roles at the school.
Maine State Training School was located in southwestern Maine at Pownal, sixteen miles north of Portland.
Men in Friends camps and units tended to report the greatest diversity in religious affiliation when entering CPS. A number in Friends camps reported no religious affiliation.
On average, men in Friends camps and units had completed 14.27 years of education, with sixty-eight percent reporting completion of some college, college graduation, or post graduate work. Forty-three percent of the men reported their occupation on entry to CPS as technical or professional work. (Sibley and Jacob pp. 171-72)
The men served as attendants and in other roles at the school.
The chief difference between mental health units and training schools lay in the type of patient admitted. Training schools were devoted to care of those whose mental conditions derived from hereditary factors, or for whom there was little or no hope for cure. The work in training schools was very similar to that in mental hospitals.
Max Kampelman, a Jewish CO, became active in the CPS Union while he served at Pownal, and he was elected to the general executive board when the Union met on October 14, 1944. Of the eleven men on the board, ten came from AFSC camps and units. The union endorsed negotiation as the tactic of choice. Interest in the CPS Union from men in the Mennonite camps and units was negligible. Except for the men in the guinea pig experiments at the University of Minnesota and the mental hospital at Columbus, Ohio, the union movement was weak in Brethren units. (Eisan p. 413; Taylor pp. 126-127)
Men at Pownal published Pacifist Esperantist Bulletin from May 1944 through September 1947.
For information on Brethren camps and units see Leslie Eisan, Pathways of Peace: A History of the Civilian Public Service Program Administered by the Brethren Service Committee. Elgin, IL: Brethren Publishing House, 1948.
See Alex Sareyan, The Turning Point: How Persons of Conscience Brought About Major Change in the Care of America’s Mentally Ill. Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 1994.
See also Mulford Q. Sibley and Philip E. Jacob, Conscription of Conscience: The American State and the Conscientious Objector, 1940-47. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1952.
Swarthmore College Peace Collection, Camp periodicals database.
For more in depth treatment of mental health and training school units, see Steven J. Taylor, Acts of Conscience: World War II, Mental Institutions, and Religious Objectors. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2009, including information on the CPS Union, pp. 126-135.
*Camp director Theodore Harvath changed to Theodore Horvath and camp director Harold Ewan changed to Harold Ewen to reflect personnel listings in '47 and '96 directories (Stephanie Cabezas, 06/14/13).