Author Archive for Chris Brooks

85th Anniversary – Sinking of the Ciudad de Barcelona

May 28, 2022
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85th Anniversary – Sinking of the Ciudad de Barcelona

On May 30, 1937, the Republican freighter Ciudad de Barcelona was hit by a torpedo fired by a lurking Nationalist submarine.  The torpedo tore a gaping hole in the ship and it rapidly sank. A Republican seaplane drove the submarine away with a depth charge attack, then landed and began rescuing men in the...
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Photographs by Dr. Irving Busch

April 2, 2022
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Photographs by Dr. Irving Busch

Dr. Irving Busch (1896-1960), a graduate of Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, volunteered to serve in Spain with the American Medical Bureau.  In Spain, he served with the Republican Medical Services. Both before and after Spain Busch was an amateur photographer and he carried his camera along with him. After his death...
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The Road to Nightmare Alley: William Lindsay Gresham in the Spanish Civil War

February 11, 2022
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The Road to Nightmare Alley: William Lindsay Gresham in the Spanish Civil War

Director Guillermo del Toro’s new film Nightmare Alley is bringing renewed attention to the author of the classic novel by the same name: William L. Gresham, who served in the International Brigades during the Spanish Civil War. Yet Gresham’s service in Spain is typically mentioned only because his first and most successful novel was...
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Letters From Spain: Sidney Hotchkiss Lorraine

December 24, 2021
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Letters From Spain: Sidney Hotchkiss Lorraine

The picture of a young man in a jaunty hat and a big smile stared out of the 1978 issue of The Volunteer. The photo was accompanied by a request for information about Sidney Lorraine who died in Spain during the course of The Retreats.  There is no evidence of any replies. Sidney Hotchkiss...
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Veteran’s Day

November 10, 2021
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Many American veterans went on to serve in WWII and Korea.  This list is a work in progress. Those marked with an “*” were killed during the war. Office of Strategic Services Aalto, William Oliver WWII US Army, joined December 1941 served as 1st SGT transfer to OSS April 12, 1942; Dismissed after he...
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Update – The Passport Project

July 15, 2021
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Update – The Passport Project

With the submission of the August batch freedom of information act (FOIA) requests ALBA will have filed for over 1,000 passport records of American volunteers. Due to the ongoing pandemic responses to the submissions have been minimal. However, we did receive three responses this week. This is only the second batch received in the...
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ALBA Blog’s Spring/Summer SCW Non-Fiction Reading List by Chris Brooks and Lisa Clemmer

June 1, 2021
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ALBA Blog’s Spring/Summer SCW Non-Fiction Reading List by Chris Brooks and Lisa Clemmer

Few things can improve the pleasure of longer days and warm weather the way a good book does. Whether soaking up the sun or chilling in the A/C, pick up one, or all five, of these non-fiction works that center on or have a connection to the Spanish Civil War.   Dr. Ariel May...
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Memorial Day Tributes to Stanley Emil Blaskiewicz and Aubrey Kirby Kelley

May 28, 2021
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Memorial Day Tributes to Stanley Emil Blaskiewicz and  Aubrey Kirby Kelley

Beatriz Gomez-Acuna visited the grave of Canadian-American Stanley Emil Blaskiewicz (who post-war changed his name to Blake) in Chicago. Joe Roth visited Aubrey Kirby Kelley’s grave in Ryan, Texas and placed a Republican flag. Thank you both for taking the time to honor these American Volunteers. For those who may be interested in participating...
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Emil Meersand Memorial Day Tribute

May 25, 2021
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Emil Meersand Memorial Day Tribute

Blaine from Las Vegas visited Emil Meersand’s grave this week.  Thank you Blaine and thanks in advance to all the volunteers who will visit the graves over the next week. For more information about the project see Progress on Honoring Those Who Served in Spain. If you wish to participate you can still volunteer....
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First Memorial Day Tributes

May 23, 2021
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First Memorial Day Tributes

Raymond Hoff and Nancy Phillips’ nationwide project to honor the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade by placing Spanish Republican Flags and flowers on their graves is bearing fruit.  The first two visits were recently completed. Theron Snell completed a six-hour round trip to Roswell, New Mexico to visit veteran Joseph Vogel’s grave. Ken...
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