Douglas Earl Seacord
By DOUGLAS ROACH
Half a world lies between the harbor of
Provincetown, Massachusetts and the
Jarama valley. Provincetown, first
landing place of the Pilgrims in their
search for liberty is - a summer resort
frequented by artists, writers and
professional people. It was in this
peaceful port I first met Douglas
Seacord. He was a quiet, unassuming
person, who did not mingle with the
summer crowd. During the long bright
days he would go in his gas dory to the
fishing grounds, not as a sportsman, for
his living depended on whatever haul of
cod, haddock he might get. His partner
was Harry MiSorley, whom I also met
later in Spain and who fought with me at
Brunete. (Harry was killed when about
60 fascist planes bombed us near
They later went together in a small
mackerel seiner where they made at least
enough money to eat once in a while.
Four years later I met Seacord again. It
was in a muddy Spanish town, Villan-
ueva de la Jara. He was still the same
reticent person that I knew before.
During the winter evenings we would sit
in a little bar, talking about the old days
in Massachusetts. He didn't do much
talking about himself, yet I was able to
piece out the highlights of his life.
He was born in Memphis, Tennessee in
1908 and was brought up in Erie,
Pennsylvania. After graduating from
high. school he left his home and went to
sea. He knocked about the world for
several years, then enlisted in the U.S.
Army, serving with the Artillery
Division. Following his hitch, he again
became a seaman, working on private
In 1930 he was married. Then
followed seven years of routine work
aboard ships. A militant trade unionist,
Seacord was in the forefront of the
struggle of the Marine Workers
January, 1937 found the first group of
American volunteers training on Spanish
soil. Seacord would patiently teach the
fellows the mechanism of the machine
gun, theory and use of the gun and the
most important thing, the practice firing
the gun. He would march the fellows out
into the country. There he would explain
the key positions for gun nests, how to
advance on a town, where the ammuni-
tion dump should be kept and how to
figure out distances. Anything he
thought to be of value to us, he taught us.
Headquarters one day for an instructor in
bayonet warfare. Douglas Seacord
stepped forward. He had wanted to be
rank and filer in the Battalion, but his
knowledge of military training and his
popularity with the men soon placed him
in the position as first commander of the
Tom Mooney machine gun company.
Seacord did not seek leadership. The
rank and file insisted that he be their
The fascists were pressing at Madrid.
Every available trained soldier was
needed at the front. We, considering
ourselves trained were eager to get
going. At the front he revealed his
abilities to a greater degree than ever.
When the Lincoln Battalion arrived at
the front, it was placed in a secondary
position. The English Battalion had been
in the front line for several days and was
taking terrific punishment. Although the
Americans were ordered to stay in
reserve, Seacord and a machine gun
detail volunteered to help the hard-
pressed English and on February 16
moved to the front line and built machine
No job was too dirty. The captain of
the machine gun company would not ask
a man to do anything he would not do
himself. On February 24 Seacord and
three comrades from the Cuban section,
Rufo, Heranadez and Dominguez,
carried ammunition all day across open
terrain under murderous machine gun
fire. Rufo and Hernandez were killed,
but Seacord and Dominguez carried on.
February 25th Seacord was given the
rank of Adjutant Commander of the
Abraham Lincoln Battalion. On February
27th, a memorable date, Douglas Earl
Seacord was killed in action. He will for-
ever be remembered by the American
fighters who fought and are still fighting-
for the freedom of the Spanish people,
and for the defeat of fascism-for world
- IT'S NOT CORPSES. BURY, BUT
O I G A-
We're serving notice on the "Key hole
peepers" of Broadway and points West
that we're in the running. Our style may
not be "Broadway" but Calle "Libertad"
is good enough for me. Hold your seats!.
Flash! ! !-I hear Joe Cobert is married
and has a chicken farm In New Jersey-
and knowing J. C. I'll say he has plenty
of chickens to play around with now.
Joe Gordon is plenty sore because a
certain general didn't consult him about
the Teruel offensive. And talking about
military strategists--what strategist is
planning an offensive against what
We can report a couple of successful
offensives-Milt Goldstein is taking over
on Sat. March 26th. Good luck Milt and
may you have many little anti-fascists.
We may be a little late but Mooch
Engels is already happily married and
has that contented look in his eye. Good
B. W. has gone and done it too. We've
seen his spouse and say in sort of a
hushed voice "Lovely"-happy returns!
Aside to Hy Stone-when's it coming off?
While we're on the subject- Charley
Rhine is still. lonesome but observing.
Spring is here alright! Which reminds
Just get Hy Reinlieb talking about the
"Vets" dram aplans and watch his eyes.
Just imagine!! Ruby Schneiderman on a
A pretty girl In my arm - Yeah! imagine!
In school wt were taught that the shortest
distance between two points is a straight
line but I found out that it's a good.
picket. line. Make It strong boys!
Famous last words' Meet me In the
office of the "Friends"
Hasta la vista
Dead line of this paper is set for 24th of each
month. All Vets and Chapters should mail in
Articles before this date.
Suggest that out of towners mail material on
20th of each month.
Also send along suggestions, advice, ideas,