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Claude Pringle


Claude Pringle

Pringle, Claude. b. January 22, 1894, Halifax County, Virginia; African American; POW; Grammar school education; Prior military service in WW I, US Army 10 months; Single; Miner; CP 1931; received passport# 392813 on April 19, 1937 which listed his address as 637 L Street, Washington, DC, and Bellaire, Ohio (1506 Market, Wheeling, West Virginia); Sailed May 1, 1937 aboard the Britannic; Arrrived in Spain on June 2, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Mackenzie-Papineau BN in training possibly with Washington BN before going to Mackenzie-Papineau.  Captured March 10, 1938 Belchite, the Retreats.  Exchanged April 22, 1939; Returned to the US on May 6, 1939 aboard the President Harding;

Source: Sail, SACB, Cadre, Mac-Paps, POW.

Photograph: Claude Pringle, Mackenzie-Papineau souper, November 1937. The 15th International Brigade Photographic Unit Photograph Collection; ALBA Photo 11; ALBA Photo number 11-0904. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.




Claude Pringle was born in Holston, Halifax County, Virginia, on January 22, 1894. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Logan City, West Virginia, where he was raised. His education was limited to grammar school. During World War I, Pringle served in the U.S. Army and saw duty in France. After the war he worked as a coal miner in Bellaire, Ohio, where he was involved in the mine workers' strike of 1922. He joined the Communist Party in 1931. Pringle departed for Europe on the Britannic, on May 1, 1937. In Spain, he served with the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion and was wounded in the shoulder at Teruel. In a report to the United States from Spain, John P. Davis, Executive Secretary of the National Negro Congress, wrote, "This morning I saw two Negro kids walk down Glory Road: Claude Pringle and Otto Reeves were decorated as loyal, well disciplined soldiers of the Spanish People's Army." When the Nationalists launched an offensive in March 1938, Pringle voluntarily returned to his unit. During the Retreats Pringle was one of hundreds of volunteers captured by Nationalist troops and imprisoned at San Pedro Cardenas. Conditions at San Pedro were harsh and beatings were common. A photo of Pringle taken while he was at San Pedro shows how the experience aged him. He was among the seventy-one POWs who were repatriated, and returned to the United States aboard the President Harding, on May 6, 1939.~ Chris Brooks

ALB Archival Materials

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Claude Pringle Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion November 1937 (ALBA Collection)

Full Database Record

Last Name Pringle
First/Middle Name Claude
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
AKA First / Middle 2
Foreign Nation
Foreign Nation City
Alt Pob State, City
Family: Name
Family: Relationship
Family: Begin Date
Family: End Date
Family: Comments
Education HS
Education College / Univ 1
Education College/Univ Notes
Education College/Univ 2
Graduate or Doctoral Work
Graduate or Doctoral Work Notes
Prior Military Service
Passport #
Passport Series
Passport Reported Lost in Spain
Passport Age
Passport Date
PP or Known Address Street
PP or Known Address City
PP or Known Address State
ALT City
Alt State
Sail Date
Marital Status
Marital Notes
Vocation 1
Vocation 2
Vocation 3
Party Affiliation
Date Affiliation
ALT Affiliation
ALT date
ALT affiliation 2
Arrival (in Spain) Date
Units served with
Battle action
Returned Date
Returned other
WWII Service
Place Died City
KIA/MIA/Died other
KIA/MIA/Died other Date
KIA/MIA/Died other Location
KIA/MIA/Died other Battle
Additional Notes