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Vincent Lossowski

Biography

Lossowski, Vincent

Lossowski, Vincent. b. September 17, 1913, Rochester, New York; Prior military service with the US Army, 1st Coastal Artillery, Anti-Aircraft, Fort Randolph, Panama Canal Zone, March 1932-March 1935. Rank SGT; Single; Mechanic; YCL December 1936; Received passport# 449105 on June 23, 1937 which listed his address as 882 Hudson Avenue, and 117 Durnant Street, both Rochester, New York; Sailed July 3, 1937 aboard the Berengaria; Arrived in Spain on August 1, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln-Washington BN, observer, served at Quinto and Belchite, WIA left leg; In hospital from September 2-November 10, 1937 Reus and Benicasim,   Artillery with 129th BDE, First officer;, Mosquervela, Linades, Torrejas with artillery; Rank Teniente; Returned to the US on February 4, 1938 aboard the President Harding; WWII  Served in the OSS in North Africa, later transferred to the US Army, rank Captain; d. 1984.

Source: Sail, SACB, Cadre, RA Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 937; ALBA 071 Vincent Lossowski Papers.

Photograph: Vince Lossowski, VALB identification, family.

 


Biography

Vincent Lossowski (1913 - 1984) was born and raised in Rochester, New York in a Polish working-class family. As a young man, he served in an artillery unit with the United States Army's Coast and Harbor Defenses in Panama. He returned to Rochester, worked as a machinist and, in 1936, became active in the Young Communist League. A newsreel graphically depicting the fascist bombing of Madrid incited Lossowski to join the International Brigades to defend the Spanish Republic.

He sailed for France in July 1937 on the S.S. Berengaria and from there crossed the Pyrenees into Spain. From August 1937 until September 1938 he served with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as a battalion observer and artillery firing officer, attaining the rank of lieutenant. Soon after his arrival, Lossowski took part in the battles of Quinto and Belchite. He was wounded in the latter conflict and hospitalized at Benicasim in September 1937. He returned to active duty in November of that year, participating in the Teruel Offensive during the winter of 1938 and the long series of retreats that lasted into the fall. Lossowski was repatriated in February 1939 following the withdrawal of the International Brigades.

Back in the United States Lossowski worked at the Brundy Engineering plant in the Bronx, and, in September 1939, took part in a United Electrical, Radio, and Machine Workers strike when contract negotiations broke down over a closed-shop provision. After serving briefly in the Coast Guard, Lossowski, along with a half dozen fellow Lincoln Brigade veterans, was recruited to join the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1942. During WWII he served behind enemy lines in North Africa and Italy under the direction of General William Donovan helping to organize anti-Nazi guerrilla actions. He left the Army at the rank of Captain in 1945 and was presented with the Legion of Merit. He returned to Rochester, married, and raised three children with his wife, Helen.

In the 1950s Lossowski was investigated by the Congressional Military Affairs Subcommittee because of his activities in Spain and his ongoing association with the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade (VALB), cited by the Subversive Activities Control Board as a Communist-front organization. In his later years, Lossowski granted interviews and gave lectures to local college groups about the International Brigades and American participation in the Spanish Civil War. He remained an active member of VALB until his death in 1984 at the age of 70.

- Biography courtesy of Tamiment Library, NYU.  To view Lossowski finding aid at NYU, click here

ALB Archival Materials

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VALB identification.

Full Database Record

Last Name Lossowski
First/Middle Name Vincent
Ethnicity
Ethnicity Note
Immigration Status
Religion
POW
AKA Last Name 1
AKA First / Middle 1
AKA Last Name 2
AKA First / Middle 2
DOB
City
State
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
Ship
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
Rank
Returned Date
Returned other
WWII Service
DOD
Cause
Place Died City
KIA/MIA/Died other
KIA/MIA/Died other Date
KIA/MIA/Died other Location
KIA/MIA/Died other Battle
Additional Notes