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Douglas Roach


Roach, Doug


Roach, Douglas Bryan. b. 1909, Provincetown, Massachusetts, Attended Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst, Single, Seaman and Party Organizer (had earlier been a wrestler), CP 1932, 28 yrs. old, Sailed January 6, 1937 aboard the Paris, Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln BN, Lincoln-Washington BN, Jarama and Brunete, WIA, returned to the US in late 1937, d. July 13, 1938, Died in Mount Sinai Hospital Pneumonia, NYC, buried in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Sources: Lincoln.

Photograph: Doug Roach post Spain. Photo by Peter Stackpole for Life Magazine.




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Doug Roach (left) and Steve Nelson (right), Summer 1937. (Peter Carroll Collection)

Full Database Record

Last Name Roach
First/Middle Name Douglas
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
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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 Roach was born in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1900. He completed high school in Provincetown and later attended the Massachusetts Agricultural College at Amherst. There, although barely five feet tall, he achieved notice as a star wrestler. Roach joined the Communist Party in 1932. Upon completion of his studies, Roach became a part-time organizer and supported himself by working occasionally as a professional wrestler. Roach departed for Europe, aboard the SS Paris, on January 6, 1937. In Spain, Roach was assigned to the Lincoln Battalion and served in a machine gun company. Roach fought with the battalion at Jarama and during the Brunete Offensive and attained the rank of Gun Commander. Late in the Brunete Campaign Roach received a severe shoulder wound. In the fall of 1937, unable to continue fighting, he was sent back to the United States, where he went to work organizing for the seamen's union. Returning veterans formed the VALB late in 1937 and at their first convention they elected Roach as National Adjutant Commander. He held the post briefly before he contracted pneumonia and was hospitalized at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Although it appeared initially that Roach would fully recuperate, he took a sudden turn for the worse and died on July 13, 1938. His funeral was held at the Mother A. M. E. Zion Church in New York, with the Reverend Benjamin Robeson (Paul Robeson's brother) presiding. His body was sent home to Provincetown, accompanied by fellow Lincoln Brigade veterans Paul Bums and Walter Garland. - Chris Brooks