Rodriguez, Julius.


Rodriguez, Julius. b. July 4, 1908; Tampa, Florida; African American (?); Father Iladio Rodriguez (1883-?), mother Zimora (Leonora) Rodriguez (1892-?) both deceased; Primary school education; NY National Guard 1928-1930, 369th Regiment, MG; Single; Food worker and Driver; AFL, CP 1931; Received Passport# 371416 on March 3, 1937 which listed his address as 701 West 117th Street, and 2800 Bronx Park, East Bronx, New York, Sailed March 10, 1937 aboard the Queen Mary; Arrived in Spain on March 25, 1937; Attended OTS then served with the XV BDE, Washington BN, Co. 4; Then with Auto Park; Later Benicasim Ambulance service as a driver; Served at Brunete; Deserted at Brunete, was convinced to return by Bill Lawrence, but only went as far as Madrid, returned as a driver; Returned to the US on February 9, 1939 aboard the Washington; WWII Civilian Defense Worker (?), Portland Shipyards; Married Rose Lishnoff on January 28, 1942, in NYC; Rodriguez was working as a waiter on the railroad; d. August 1973.
Sources: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Cadre (under Rodriguez, Julios); RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 973, ll. 70-72; African Americans; Pacific NW, See also Frederika Martin Collection. Code A
Biography:  Julius Rodriguez was born in Tampa, Florida on July 4, 1909. Little is known about him before and after he volunteered for Spain except that he was fluent in Spanish, single, worked in the food service industry, lived in New York's Spanish Harlem, and had joined the Communist Party in 1931. He sailed for Europe aboard the Queen Mary on March 10, 1937. In Spain Rodriguez attended Officers' Training School between May and June 1937 and was noted as one of the "best comrades from a military point of view." After completing OTS, he joined the XVth Brigade and saw service during the Brunete Campaign. Rodriguez deserted the front. He later served as an ambulance driver. In 1938, Rodriguez was injured near Teruel and was among the last Americans to leave Spain. He returned to the United States, aboard the Washington, on February 8, 1939 During World War II, Rodriguez was a leader of African-American shipyard workers in the Kaiser yards in Portland, Oregon. After the war, he returned to New York. ~ Chris Brooks
Photographs: Joe Sands, Longshoreman, I. L. A; J. Rodriguez, West Coast Fireman; Hy Chesler, Member Cooks and Stewards, West Coast; True Americans. Also: On the anniversary of their last year in Spain. Lincoln- Washington, March 1938. The 15th International Brigade Photographic Unit Photograph Collection; ALBA Photo 11; ALBA Photo number 11-0786. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.