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William Crane Van Felix

Biography

William Van Felix and Ernest Amatniek,


Van Felix, William Crane. (Crane, William Van Felix), b. April 3, 1914 (April 4, 1916; March 3, 1916)), NYC; CoB; Single; Engineer and Technician in a Radio Factory; YCL 1931, branch organizer (CP); received passport# 387875 on April 10, 1937 which listed his address as 1493 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, New York (35 Colin Place, Brooklyn, New York); Arrived in Spain on May 30, 1937; Arrived in Spain on June 2, 1937 after surviving the sinking of the City of Barcelona; Served with the XV BDE, MacKenzie-Papineau BN, Plaza Mayor, Transmissions, and also with BDE, rank Cabo; Served in the Retreats and Ebro Offensive, WIA; Was in a French Concentration camp prior to returning to the US; Returned March 3, 1939 aboard the Manhattan; WWII Merchant Marine, Radio officer, Ensign, Torpedoed won Merchant Marine Combat Medal and Atlantic War Zone Medal; Coast Guard; d. 2002.

 

Source: SACB; Cadre, Pay, RA (under Felix and Van Felix);Letters Robert Coale to editor, The Volunteer, Volume 24, No. 4, December 2002, pp. 2, 22; (obituary) Moe Fishman, “William’Bill’ Van Felix 1916-2002,” The Volunteer, Volume 24, No. 4, December 2002, p. 2; .ALBA Collection Marjorie Polon papers include letters from Van Felix. 

Photograph: William Van Felix and Ernest Amatniek, undated. The 15th International Brigade Photographic Unit Photograph Collection ; ALBA Photo 11; ALBA Photo number 11-0545. 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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Last Name Van Felix
First/Middle Name William Crane
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Additional Notes William Van Felix (1916-2002) was a native New Yorker and a radio technician. An Italian submarine torpedoed the ship that carried Van Felix and other volunteers from Marseilles to Barcelona in 1937. Many casualties ensued; however Spanish fishermen rescued Van Felix as he swam for shore. Van Felix was assigned to a communications unit in Spain. When standard communication systems broke down, he served as a runner to deliver messages. - Biography courtesy of Tamiment Library, NYU.