Americans in the Spanish Civil War

Approximately 2,800 American volunteers served in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side.  Confirmed indicates that I have two or more sources that place the volunteer in Spain.  Those that are confirmed make up “Category I.” Category I includes both those who died in Spain and those who returned. Some of the volunteers identified as Americans are also listed on other nationality lists based on their place of birth or ethnicity. Biographical entries of Category I volunteers are listed on the ALBA website.

“Category II”  volunteers lived in United States at some point prior to the Spanish Civil War, but who were neither living in the United States nor American citizens when they went to Spain. [I swapped the definition for Category II & III as they flow more logically in their current order]

“Category III”.volunteers are those who moved to the United States after participating in the Spanish Civil War.

“Unconfirmed” many names of potential volunteers have been floated throughout the years. The individuals on the unconfirmed list lack sufficient data.

Most of my work at present is devoted to the Abraham Lincoln Archives Data Base of American Volunteers and updates are primarily posted on that site.

To request information on a Category I volunteer or get in touch with me please leave a comment on the main page with your email.  I will respond as quickly as possible.




37 Responses to Americans in the Spanish Civil War

  1. ciaran crossey says:

    Am looking forward to using this site when it’s all up and running. Congratulations on a lot of hard work.

  2. michael bailey says:

    wow, great web site.
    i want to send you a photo and ask if you have seen it
    before, and if you can identify anyone.
    bill bailey marked it as “my platoon” although he is not in the photo.
    i don’t see this photo in any of the photos.


    • brooksarp says:

      I looked over the photographs and at present cannot identify any volunteers other than the ones that Bill Bailey had already identified. I believe the photograph of his platoon is taken late in the war based on other photographs from that time period. I have both photos posted to see if anyone else is able to identify the volunteers.

  3. David Fellman says:

    I do not see my father, Sol Fellman listed. He went to Spain with my uncle, Harry Fellman who was KIA. You can read an interesting letter in the ALBA archives that Paul Segal wrote about a meeting between the two borthers who were separated when Harry was wounded a Jarma. My father left Spain in the fall of 1937. He was on the line at Jarma for many months. Sol wrote about his friendship with Doug Roach. During WWII Sol worked as an engineer at the Abredeen Proving Grounds for the US Army. Unfortunately, he was forced to resign when his background in Spain was questioned by HUAC. He lived to be 94 and passed away in 1996. If you need more information, please contact me…Thanks, David Harry Fellman

  4. brooksarp says:

    Based on our conversation (offline) I have added your father to the list. He was previously confused with another volunteer.


  5. Dan Bessie says:

    CHRIS… do you send out a regular newsletter, or does one just look at the website off and on for updates? Thanks, Dan B.

    • brooksarp says:

      Great to hear from you. I am not presently sending out a newsletter. I try to put a quick note under updates as I add to the site.

      Right now I am spending a lot of time on looking up return dates. Many of the entries include dob/pob, marital status, passport #, and address to which they are returning.


  6. Freddy McGavin says:

    Hi there,
    Recent research here in Ireland indicates that many volunteers from the Irish’Connolly Column’ defected from the the British Brigade to join American Battalions such as the’Abraham Lincolns’.Could this account for the many Irishmen who fought with the Americans in the Spanish Civil War?
    Freddy McGavin,

    • brooksarp says:


      There was a good sized initial group that moved from the British BN to the Lincoln BN. However, few of the Irish who arrived later went to the Lincolns. The Irish section recruited several Irish Americans into the section (as well as a few non-Irish). The Irish section seems to have faded away due to casualties after Brunete. Ciaran Crossey’s website.


    • Freddy McGavin says:

      Hi Chris,
      Many thanks for the information. It is much appreciated.
      Kind Regards
      Freddy McGavin

  7. Hi
    I am researching Oliver Law. Does anyone have information on him? Did he have children? Military record? I know he was in the 24th Infantry but he is quoted as serving in WW1 – this I doubt. Much of the wikipedia entry is misinformation.His death in action (or murder)of course is well covered in a variety of books.
    I understand a professor from the University of Notre Dame was writing a biography in the 1970’s but I can find no trace of publication.Any ideas?
    Any help would be much appreciated.Thanks
    If you are interested look at my website

  8. D. Sarti says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for putting together such a great site and for all your hard work. I can’t even imagine how many hours you must have spent.

    My grandfather, Paolino Sarti, fought with the Lincoln Brigade and I was wondering if you have any information as to how he got back home to New York. I know he was in Spain until at least mid-November of 1938 (I have some paperwork from that time) but after that the trail drops off.

    While in Spain, he used the alias Paulino Sala Perez, although he is also sometimes referred to as “Paulino Perez Sole” (probably just a typo which got repeated).

    I haven’t been able to find any of those names on ship manifests on so it seems like I’ve come to a dead end. Have you come across anything regarding my grandfather and his trip home?

    Thank you very much for your help, and for the great site.


    Ps – You have him listed “Paolo Sarti” in your Category 1 volunteer list but his first name is actually Paolino.

    • brooksarp says:


      I have corrected your grandfather’s listing. I have not had any luck finding his return date. I have been attempting to check the “Alien” passenger listings as I work, however it is slow work and often luck. I still have several hundred volunteers whose return dates are missing.


  9. FFALB says:

    We of the Friends & Family of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (FFALB) are grateful to you for this site. We just returned from Spain where we attended the dedication of the monument to the International Brigades at University City, Madrid. The site is missing the name of Matti Mattson, who was an ambulance driver in Spain and WWII veteran. Matti died in January 2011. There is an accurate listing for him on Wikipedia.
    Georgia Wever for FFALB

  10. Mona Jimenez says:

    Hi Chris,

    I’m not sure what category my father, Michael A. Jimenez aka Miguel Angel Jimenez Tejeda, belongs in. He is in category 1 now as Mike Jiminez. He was born in the US but the family moved to Spain in 1934 or so (from the Dominican Republic), so he was in Barcelona when the war broke out. The family story was that he was in the Spanish Army for a time until the International Brigades were formed. I don’t have an documentary evidence of that period. His IB Carnet Militar has his entry into the IB as January 1, 1937 as a captain in the XIV Cuerpo E. (Especial). He served in Pozoblano, and Tortosa y Segre with the XIV. On 8-28-38, he was transferred to XXIV Cuerpo Ejerito. He was in Septfonds and Gurs after the war until he escaped in 1940 and made his way to Marseilles and then to the US. He then was recruited into the OSS with Irv Goff and others. I’ll supplement this info eventually with scans!

    Mona Jimenez
    Brooklyn, NY

  11. l corbett says:

    i was excited to find my uncle john wegrzynek in the photo of “veterans returning on the champlain july 20, 1938”. he is standing in middle of the second row with african american soldier
    aaron bernard johnson at his right.

    uncle john was born in poland. his parents, stanislaw wegrzynek and marianna ozarowska settled in buffalo ny around the turn of the 20th century.

    although i never met him i’m very proud of his service in the fight against fascism.

  12. foucek says:

    My father George Foucek and my Uncle Albert Foucek (KIA) fought

    • pdlhistoria says:

      I came across a report from the ALBA newsletter (written 5th of October 1979) by some Mac Pap veterans who returned to Spain, probably earlier in the same year. The article states that your uncle, George Foucek, died in either Tarazona de la Mancha or Madrigueras whilst on this trip and is buried there? However, the ALBA database says that George died in San Fransisco in 1966, possibly after a botched operation? Please could you confirm George’s death, as if he is buried in Spain, I can ask friends in either village to check that he is being looked after.

      My e mail is and you can see my work at

      In hope.

      Alan Warren

      • melody Foucek Hadley says:

        My father George Foucek died in SF in 1966. My uncle Albert died in Spain

  13. Alan Lloyd says:

    You might like to know that Albert was good friend of Ivor Hickman. He was Chief Instructor at the Officers Training School and later Chief of the British observers.he mentioned Albert several times in his letters home. Abbok has just been published about Ivor’s life; The Last to Fall, The Life and Letters of Ivor Hickman – an International Brigadier in Spain, by John L. Wainwright. Unfortunately, I cannot lay my hands on my copy at he moment so cannot remember if the relationship with Albert survived the editing process.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for the info. I am trying to find it now.

    • Thanks Alan, I have ordered the book, and my sons and I are anxious to read it, hopefully he hasn’t been edited out.(I am another daughter/niece of George and Albert.Oh and I found the book on Alibris.

      • Alan Lloyd says:

        Hi Barbara, If you let me have your e-mail address I will dig out the letters sent by Ivor which have references to Albert and send them to you.Regards

      • foucek says:

        Cool Barb!

        On Fri, Sep 28, 2012 at 10:53 AM, Americans in the Spanish Civil War wrote:

        > ** > Alan Lloyd commented: “Hi Barbara, If you let me have your e-mail > address I will dig out the letters sent by Ivor which have references to > Albert and send them to you.Regards” >

      • Alan Lloyd says:

        I now have a couple of letters which mentioned Albert, so if you let me have an email address…… Regards Alan

    • Barbara Foucek says:

      Hi, Alan
      Sorry it took me so long, I am really appreciative of you finding the letters.
      I loved the book, and my sons liked it, too.One of my sons were born on my uncle Alberts birthday. There were a few pages with my uncle and a paragraph or two with my Dad. Again sorry it took so long for me to respond..

  14. Carl Silverman says:

    My Father Max Silverman was a Volunteer. Check ALBA-VALB
    website fo bio/photos. Still; we have war. Why?
    Carl Silverman

  15. Jeffrey Johnson says:

    My grandfathers cousin was a volunteer in the Abraham Lincoln brigade his name was Lloyd C Johnson he was killed in 1938 during the Ebro offensive
    If you know of anyplace I might find pictures or other documents of or about him I would appreciate the help.
    Jeffrey A Johnson

  16. Kenyon Zimmer says:

    Hello Chris, my dissertation includes information on American anarchist volunteers of various ethnicities who fought in Spain, some of whom are not listed here or in the ALBA database. You can download a copy of the dissertation here (see Ch. 6 and Appendix B).
    -Kenyon Zimmer

  17. Jaume Ramon Solé says:

    I have interesting information of Lieutenant William Mitchell Digges buried in Tàrrega on 29 May 1938. Hi grave is intact after 76 years ago.

    Also beside him is buried the soldier Juan Medina Palmero (Cuba, Argentina or Puerto Rico?), in the cemetery registre has written: Buried on 25 May 1938 15th. International Brigade 58 Batallion, 4th. Company.

    We had noticed that beacuse the Harry Randall Archive are wrong with de town of Mollerusa, The photographed cemetery is in the town Tàrrega. The 15th Bridage rested in reserve in the town of Tàrrega for two or three weeks. on May 1938.

  18. Dear colleagues,

    We would like to present to you the SIDBRINT website specialized in the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War.
    SIDBRINT is a cooperative and collaborative website of the University of Barcelona. The main goal of the project is to give relevance to each one of the volunteers. The strength of the project is the desire to work in a collaborative way. Individuals, associations, archives, libraries and research centres are very welcome to SIDBRINT.
    Currently, SIDBRINT contains references of more than 20.700 volunteers and about 1.700 bibliographical references.
    We would like you include our web in your web of “Americans in the Spanish Civil War”, in “Archives and web sites”.

    Best wishes

    Ph D M. Lourdes Prades Artigas
    Head Librarian – CRAI Biblioteca Pavelló de la República (Universitat de Barcelona)
    SIDBRINT Project Leader

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