Update 22 March 2012 – Interesting Question Raised by Signatures

An interesting question is raised by a series of signatures found in Box 2, Folder 23, 177_197042 [List of Names] Moscow #5/197/42 Oct. 1938.  This is a page from Folder 197: Album of 15th International Brigade Presented to the American Communist Volunteers of the 15th Brigade by the Communist Party of Spain.  On a two page spread entitle Declaration of the American Negro Comrades eighteen individuals signed the second page.

All but two are individuals confirmed as African-American volunteers.  The two are Charles F. Foster from NYC and Larry Foy who listed Harlem as his home.  Foy has been identified as possible African-American in the past.  However, he does not appear to have been an African-American.  Foy is a Canadian who was living in the US.  Charles F. Foster is a new name. 

Charles Frank Foster was born on September 18, 1900. Almost no information is currently available on him.  He sailed for Europe on March 18, 1937 aboard the Normandie.  No information is available regarding his service in Spain.  He returned to the United States on December 20, 1938 aboard the Ausonia.  SSN database gives a probable date of death of December 28, 1987.

Lawrence Foy (aka Fay) born March 5, 1909, in Montreal, Canada and was living in Harlem, New York.  He sailed for Europe on October 9, 1937 aboard the Vollendam.  He was married and listed his occupation as Commercial Designer/painter and was a member of the CP having joined in 1935.  In Spain he served with the 35th Division and later in the XV BDE.  Foy returned to the United States on February 4, 1939.  A letter published in the Daily Worker on December 23, 1937 did not indicate that he was African-American.  Myron Momryk prepared a sketch on him in his unpublished Biographical Dictionary of Canadian volunteers.

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