BiographyBlair, John Clarence (Blaiv, Clarence Alvin, Bill); b. March 16, 1898, Swanville, Minnesota; Education through the 8th Grade (HS) then served a 4 year apprenticeship as a Machinist; Single; Organizer, Mechanic and Machinist; CP 1930, District Bureau; Wisconsin; Received Passport# 404349 on May 4, 1937 which listed his address as 1826 B North 111th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Little Falls, Minnesota; Sailed May 26, 1937 aboard the Vollendam; Arrested on June 20, 1937 when the vessel he was traveling to Spain on, the Joven Teresa, was intercepted by the French aviso Granit near Port-Vendres; Arrived in Spain via Massanet on June 22, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Mackenzie-Papineau BN, appointed Commissar Co. 1 on September 5, 1937 by Joe Dallet; Served at Fuentes del Ebro, Teruel, Segura de los Baños, and Retreats; Captured around March 13, 1938 near Hijar during the Retreats; Freed February 22, 1940; Returned to the US on March 17, 1940 aboard the Exiria; WWII Civilian; d. March 18, 1984.
Source: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Cadre (under Blair, Clarence A.); Figueres List; Inventory North Americans; Mac-Paps; XV BDE, RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 3, Delo 455, ll. 92; Opis 6, Delo 543, ll. 28; Opiw 6, Delo 865, ll. 6-7 (under Blair, Bill); USSDA (under Blair, Clarence A.) 2:0408, 52:0797-0920; POW; Anna Marti and Francisco Cabrera, “Escape From Death Row Three Lincoln POWs on Trial,” The Volunteer, Vol. 30, No. 4, December 013, pp. 14-17; Joven Teresa list from a letter from Jean Massé to Jim Carmody dated November 30, 1988. Code A
Prisoners in Franco’s Prisons – by John C. Blair, The Volunteer, Volume 6, Number 3, October 1984, reprinted The Volunteer Blog, posted February 5, 2018.
Photographs: Clarence Blair from a group photograph on his return to the US. VALB/ALBA.