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Ralph Thornton


Ralph Thornton

Thornton, Ralph.  b. June 20, 1902, Pennsylvania, African American, Single, Pressman, CP 1934, received passport# 378849 on March 26, 1937 which listed his address as 2406 Bertrand Street, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Sailed April 10, 1937 aboard the Rotterdam, Arrived in Spain on May 5, 1937, Served with the XV BDE, Washington BN, Lincoln-Washington BN, Served at Brunete, Quinto, Belchite, transferred to HQ of IB at Albacete, Clerk with Commissariat in American Section, Returned to the US on December 20, 1938 aboard the Ausonia, d. February 1984.

Sources: Sail, SACB.

Photograph:  Ralph Thornton, filing clerk in Commissariat, December 1937. The 15th International Brigade Photographic Unit Photograph Collection ; ALBA Photo 11; ALBA Photo number 11-0633. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.




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Ralph Thornton Filing Clerk in Comissariat, December 1937 (ALBA Collection).

Full Database Record

Last Name Thornton
First/Middle Name Ralph
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 Thornton was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 20, 1902. In 1934 he joined the Communist Party and was a pressman by trade, when he volunteered to serve in Spain. Thornton left for Europe aboard the Rotterdam on April 10, 1937. At the end of September 1937, following his distinguished service in the battle of Quinto, Thornton was transferred to the Brigade staff. Later he was appointed clerk for the Commissariat in the U.S. Section at the Albacete Headquarters of the International Brigades. He returned from Spain, aboard the SS Ausonia, on December 20,1938. He lived in Pittsburgh until his death in February 1984.