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Walter Cobbs


Walter Cobbs

Cobbs, Walter. b. March 2, 1914, Tupelo, Mississippi; African American; Single; Driver, Cook and Waiter; YCL 1937 (1931) District Committee; received passport# 387778 (387788) on April 9, 1937 which listed his address as 4227-A Eastern (Boston) Avenue; St. Louis, Missouri; Sailed May 8, 1937 aboard the American Importer; Arrived in Spain on June 6 (1), 1937; Served with the Regt. de Tren;  transferred to the XIV BDE, Auto Park, driver; finally with the XV BDE, Auto Park/Transport, driver, rank Soldado; Returned to the US on December 15, 1938 aboard the Paris.

Source: Sail, SACB, Cadre, XV BDE, Pay, RA, Ancestry.

Photograph: Walter Cobbs; Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Photograph Collection; ALBA Photo 15; Series I Photographs 1930s-1990s, Box 1, Folder 49. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.



Walter Cobbs was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on March 2, 1914. He completed grade school before he was forced to drop out of school to help support his family. Cobbs later moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he worked as a cook and a waiter. In 1931, Cobbs became active in the unemployed councils. He also participated in the movement in support of the Scottsboro defendants. In 1937 Cobbs joined the YCL and served as a delegate to the National Youth Congress. Cobbs left for Europe aboard the American Importer on May 8, 1937. Initially assigned as a cook to the XVth International Brigade's Auto Park, later, Cobbs served as a truck driver until the Brigades were disbanded in the fall of 1938. He returned to the United States on the Paris on December 15, 1938. Cobbs may have been killed in a car accident while traveling to a meeting with other Communists in the early 1950's. Among those mentioned as possible fatalities in that accident was Tom Brown, another black veteran of the Spanish Civil War. ~ Chris Brooks





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Walter Cobbs (ALBA Collection).

Full Database Record

Last Name Cobbs
First/Middle Name Walter
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