Colbert, Cleveland H. Moland.

Biography

b. October 6, 1906, Old Spring Hill, Alabama; African American; father George Moland Colbert (October 4, 1884-?), mother Minnie Cook (1888-?); Married wife Marie Colbert (1907-?); No prior military service; Musician, Crane Operator in the steel industry and Aviator; No political affiliation; Received Passport# 364186 on January 28, 1937 which listed his address as 1728 North 4th Street, and 2016-91 8th Street, both Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Sailed February 6, 1937 aboard the Paris; Arrived in Spain on February 10, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln BN; Deserted in February to the American Consulate; Returned to the US on July 2, 1937 aboard the Champlain; Listed his address as 2016-91 8th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Possible date of death January 23, 1962, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (R2); In a statement recorded at the American Consulate Colbert provided the following:
On February 17, 1937 he was put into the infantry against his protest. They gave him a uniform and took his civilian clothes away from him. Didn’t take any oath, because he did none of it willingly. He says his original contract was for commercial flying, and he had no intention of doing any military service, nor flying at the front. He was assured that he would not be called upon to do any flying near the front lines, but simply from Paris across the line. At Albacete they went out to the “training field” for about a week or ten days. Colbert left, across country, sleeping in the day time, and walking all night “following the north star.” …

Siblings: sister Octavia Williams (1905-?);
Source: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Americans; African Americans; USSDA; L-W Tree Ancestry.875 Code A
Photograph: Cleveland Moland Colbert, Passport photograph, 1937