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John Tisa


Tisa, John

Tisa, John. b. April 6, 1914, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Italian American of mixed Cuban and Italian descent, Attended Brockwood Labor College, Single, Writer, YCL  and CP 1935, organizer YCL;  received passport# 359499 on December 31, 1936 which listed his address as 214 Benson Street, Camden, New Jersey, Sailed January 5, 1937 aboard the Champlain, Arrived in Spain on January 13, 1937, Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln BN, Co. 2, Was selected for the Historical Commission and helped publish the Book of the XVth Brigade;  Later with Commissariat Service and Editor of The Volunteer,  Served at Jarama, Returned to the US on April 15, 1939 aboard the George Washington, WWII Armed forces, d. December 12, 1991.

Sources: Sail, SACB, Cadre, RA, ALBA PHOTO 173 John Tisa Photographs; [John Tisa]The Story of the Abraham Lincoln Battalion: Written in the Trenches of Spain (1938), Recalling the Good Fight, The Palette and the Flame, Recalling the Good Fight, Ancestry.

Photograph: Tisa in Spain and in WWII, courtesy Benedict Tisa.


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Full Database Record

Last Name Tisa
First/Middle Name John
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 Tisa was one of the first American volunteers to reach Spain, most likely in the second group of arrivals. He was also probably the last American volunteer to leave, except for the prisoners still in jail. He was in Spain from January 1937 until February 1939. In the Fall of 1938 his assignment at International Brigade Headquarters in Barcelona was to assemble detailed, complete documentation on the military and political role of American volunteers in Spain. In the Spring of 1938 he became the editor of Volunteer for Liberty, succeeding Edwin Rolfe. With respect to the Spanish Civil War, Tisa's writing and editing is particularly important.