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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 1938 05 (Page 2)

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Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives - vol 1938 05
THE VOLUNTEER
FOR LIBERTY
VETERANS OF THE
ABRAHAM
LINCOLN BRIGADE
22 West. 46th Street
New York, N. Y.
National Commander: Paul Burns
Adjutant Commander: Douglas
Roach
Executive Secretary: Carl
Bradley
EDITORS
Charles Rhine
Bill Krafsur
Irving N. Soloway
____________________
IN MEMORIAM
----------
Through the death of John
Brennan, the Veterans of The
Lincoln Brigade lost a voted
comrade in arms. A fighter for
freedom, John Brennan, an Irish-
American, was among the first
American volunteers to reach
Spain. A member of the James
Connolly Section of the 1st
Infantry Company of the Lincoln
Battalion, he served on the Jarama
Front. After serious illness
resulting from exposure to the
incessant rain and cold he insisted
on returning to the front, refusing
work in the rear. As an artist he
rendered valuable service to
Brigade Staff in the construction
of accurate maps-a vital necessity.
A Catholic, he typifies that spirit
of devotion to the cause of
mankind which animated the
founders of the Faith. A beloved
friend and comrade, his death is
our loss and an inspiration to
better serve the high cause of
democracy to which he ,was
faithful unto death.
Our sincere condolences go to
his family at this time. May they
be strengthened in the knowledge
that his service in the cause of
humanity fulfilled the great and
heroic traditions of the Irish
people.
John Brennan-We salute you!
Trucking in Spain
----------
Transportation is the life-blood
of any military machine. Without
transport no army can possibly
function.
Food, ammunition, clothing,
troops, all the equipment necessary
to keep an army running smoothly
depends on its main artery -
transport.
Almost immediately on arrival in
Albacete, February 17, 1937, I was
assigned to a truck. A short time
later, 160 of us were formed into
the First Regiment of Transport.
We were whipped into shape and
then presented to the 5th Army
Corps of the regular Spanish
Army, under the famous Generals
Lister and Campesino. We moved
up to Madrid on April 9th.
Driving a truck in any war
situation is far from a picnic, as
World War Veterans who drove
will well recall-and in this war
under existing conditions it took
more than ordinary endurance to
make a trip without mishap.
Trips in convoy would last
anywhere from two to four and
even five days with only a few
hours sleep in between. The roads
in Spain have more curves than a
pretzel and driving without lights
doesn't help the situation. You
drive along for a while and think
of a hundred different things.
Meanwhile you grow sleepy, you
bite your lips to keep awake,
always keeping in mind that you
have 35 or 40 men in the body of
your truck whose lives are in your
hands. Then, perhaps, you hear a
sound through the drone of your
own motor, a sound which does
not come from your motor-.a
steady drone like the sound of a
propeller-you cannot see it! Is it a
plane-or is it your imagination ?
Perhaps it's only the whirring of
your generator? . . . You try to
forget it by thinking of the pretty
little "senorita" in Madrid, or if
you have one, the girl back home.
You think of anything to help you
forget that obsessing sound in the
darkness. You succeed. It was only
the generator after all . . . . You
ride along in a more comfortable
state of mind and .perhaps whistle
a tune -any tune. To hell with the
Fascists! The troops you are
carrying will do their part to drive
out the hated enemy. That little
black-eyed senorita in Madrid ....
Booroom!
Suddenly the road ahead of you
BAGNARA EXPELLED BY MEMBERSHIP
Despite the good work the Americans have done in Spain, a few have
seeped in our ranks who went to Spain either for personal glory or to do
subversive work. These men showed their color very early in the game.
Men like Honeycombe and .Halpern deserted in the crucial moments and
asked the American consul for assistance, and when refused, left Spain
by devious unofficial means. These so-called antifascists have sold
themselves to Hearst & Co. for their 30 pieces of silver. They, at least,
came out in the open as being unworthy of carrying the banner of the
glorious Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
Into our ranks has also come a man who went to Spain and had been at
a couple of fronts with us, but waited until he came home to do his filthy,
underhand work. Such a man is Michael Bagnara. 'Having come .home
and received according to his own admission, more aid than most of the
other men, this man, Bagnara, by forging his papers, and in consort with
a man who by his own admission never was in Spain, attempted to
defraud the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade of funds.
Michael Bagnara claimed that he lost his pay card in Spain and his
release slip from the International Brigade in New York City; about 4000
miles apart. But his accomplice, alias Herbert Schlesinger, had both
papers in his possession. These papers were taken to an expert and under
chemical process the name of Michael Bagnara showed up under
Schlesinger's.
At an investigation conducted by the Executive Committee and
representatives of the Veterans, Michael Bagnara denied any connection
with Herbert Schlessinger; he denied having seen Schlessinger before he
met him in the office of the Friends. When the case was brought before
the membership, proof was shown that this man had never been to Spain,
that Michael Bagnara had never seen him in Spain, but that Michael
Bagnara had been seen in his company, here in I New York City by
many Veterans.
After all the proof had been presented, Michael Bagnara was expelled
from the Veteran's organization. His provocative activities, and
deliberate plan to defraud the Friends of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in
alliance with the enemies of Spain, showed clearly that Bagnara has no
faith in adhering to the .principles and objectives of our Veteran's
organization. It was for this betrayal in consort with the enemies of
democracy, that Michael Bagnara was expelled by unanimous vote of the
membership.
The stand that the membership took, proved that our organization is
strong and that it is carrying ever forward the best American traditions as
exemplified by the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, now under
fire in Spain.
Carl Bradley
Hy Roseman.
rises in the air and with it,
through the flash and roar of the
explosion . . . a truck and every
thing in it. Your own truck is
partially lifted and slammed
back to the ground. Now you
really hear the uneven drone of
the Junkers tri-motored bombers
- dealing out their death in the
form of 200 pound bombs. You
might as well sit still and wait in
the darkness. For who knows
where the next one will strike?
The raid lasts about half an
hour and you wonder who else
"got it." The men in your truck?
Some remained in the truck and
others scattered to the fields.
If you are caught in a
bombardment on a mountain
pass, you trust to luck that an
incendiary bomb or a flare
doesn't light up the vicinity
and expose your position to
the raiding planes.
Now the raid is over-check
is taken of casualties.
Damage? Only three trucks
blown up-two chauffeurs and
eight soldiers killed - some
equipment lost . . .
The officer's whistle-into
your trucks! On the move!
The men, the equipment, the
food must be delivered to the
front! The hated enemy must
be pushed out of Spain!
Sidney Schurr
P A S S T H E O ' C O N N E L L P E A C E B I L L ,
H . J . R . 5 2 7 . !
Page
2
THE
VOLUNTEER
FOR
LIBERTY
May,
1938

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