Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project Home

Clarence E. (Buster) Campbell - Clippings
Buster Campbell sent me clippings and photographs pertaining to his time in the mountain troops and his participation in ski competitions before and after WWII. He explained in a phone conversation that his name appears as Clarence Crane in some Army records.

Unknown newspaper, undated - "Ski Stars In the Army Now"

This clipping must be from Autumn 1940: "FORT LEWIS - If the 15th infantry is ordered to form a ski patrol this winter, regimental officers will be able to recruit some of the world's better skiers from the ranks." The article describes the backgrounds of Walter Prager, Peter Pringsheim, Wladyslaw Thomas Mietelski, Arnold Fawcus, Reese McKindley, Tom Hill, Tony Knutsen, and Capt. Paul R. Lafferty.

Results of Ski Competition, Cooper Hill, Sunday March 21, 1943

This is from a Camp Hale Mountain Training Center activity report. In the five-mile cross-country race on March 21, 1943, T/Sgt Clarence Crane was the winner of the Class "A" event.

Denver Post (and other newspapers), Spring 1944, undated clippings

The first military cross-country ski race in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces, was won by Master Sergeant Clarence Campbell, 21, of Leavenworth, WA, on Sunday, May 14, 1944, at Camp Hale, Colorado. Campbell's actual time over the 20-mile course was 3 hours, 21 minutes, 31 seconds. With a 3-1/2 minute penalty, his total time was 3:25:01, one minute and 42 seconds faster than second place finisher Pfc. Robert D. Wright of Glen Ridge, NJ. A trio of "Scandinavian Yanks" swept the next three places and 46 soldiers competed. Campbell had previously won the Bremerton Day Cross-Country Race on Mt Rainier in 1942 and the Camp Hale Army Championship Cross-Country Race at Tennesee Pass in 1943.

The military cross-country race was designed to to be an exact measure of each contestant's ability as a military skier. Contestants were required to use standard G.I. equipment including a 15-pound pack, uniform, rifle or pistol belt, and a 9-pound M-1 rifle. Racers started at half-minute intervals over a course designed by Sgt. Birger Torrison, a former Norwegian cross-country and jumping champion. The course ran along the Continental Divide at an elevation of 12,000 feet from Tennessee Hill to the slopes of Homestake Peak and back. The race was directed by Lt. Col. Carl Stenerson, a visiting Norwegian Army officer.

Scoring was based on the time each contestant took to run the course with adjustments for completing tasks along the way. At various points along the course, racers were required to perform simple military tasks such as estimation of range, carrying an oral message, taking a compass bearing, and firing 16 rounds at a silhouette target at 200 yards. One hit on the target was required for qualification. For each hit, one minute was subtracted from the contestant's total time. Errors in other tasks incurred penalties in the form of minutes added to the contestant's time.

Other clippings

Buster sent me several other clippings, most pertaining to skiing he did outside the Army. I haven't made notes on them for now.

Return to the Alpenglow Ski Mountaineering History Project home page

Copyright © 2004 Lowell Skoog. All Rights Reserved.
Last Updated: Fri Sep 3 10:15:32 PST 2004