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William Crane Van Felix


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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Full Database Record

Last Name Van Felix
First/Middle Name William Crane
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
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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 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.