CPS Unit Number 097-05

CPS Unit Number 097-05

Camp: 97

Unit ID: 5

Operating agency: MCC

Opened: 5 1943

Closed: 10 1946



CPS Unit No. 97, subunit 5, located in Worcester County, Massachusetts, was operated by Mennonite Central Committee.

Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States
Location Description:

The unit began in early 1945 with twenty men, the majority reporting affiliation with the Lancaster Mennonite Conference.  The conference assigned a minister to maintain contact with the men.  Since they worked at dispersed locations, the men attended churches in local communities.


The unit also served Hillsboro County, New Hampshire.  While jointly supervised, the New Hampshire men met separately.


Camp staff:

Directors:            D. Earl Heisey, Earl J. Ressler

The work:

H. Sidney Vaughn, Director of County Extension on June 28, 1946 evaluated the program as successful with good leadership and good men. 

During the war and as long as draft boards were taking men, all of the CPS men were good workers.  However, as soon as the war was over and the draft regulations lifted, we had several trouble cases whereby the workers became undesirable and very anxious to get out of the service. . . .In all the program was successful, and we in Worcester County would ask for a similar setup should conditions occur in the future which would make use of these men, if necessary.  (in Gingerich p. 204-205)

Edward V. Comerford, a farm labor assistant reported on the value of the unit.  “Without this group to help our dairy farmers in all cases concerned, we believe our labor shortage problem would have gone unsolved.  The C.O. men furnished to this unit were real farm workers”. (June 24, 1946, in Gingerich p. 205)