BiographyBurns, Paul Arthur b. March 14, 1906, Somerville, Massachusetts; Irish American; oldest of five children; Graduated from Middlebury College, Vermont in 1929; Single; Writer, Social Worker and Teacher; CP; Received Passport# 3988, Boston series, on January 6, 1937 which listed his address as 15 Bingham Street, Williamstown, Massachusetts, and Detroit, Michigan; Sailed January 9, 1937 aboard the Lafayette; Arrived in Spain on January 14, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln BN, Co. 1, Section 2, Group 2;, WIA Jarama; Promoted to Teniente in April; Commander Co. 1 in June; promoted to BN Adjutant, WIA at Brunete (knee wound); Served at Jarama and Brunete. Repatriated August 1937; Returned to the US on September 13, 1937 aboard the Normandie; WWII Armed forces; d. December 9, 1996, NYC; First Commander Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.
Source: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Americans; Lincoln; RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 849, ll 20, List of American Comrades that have been Repatriated as per October 15 1937; Voros-Jarama; USSDA 2:0432, 53:0125; ALBA PHOTO 184 Paul Burns Photographs; Harriman Video ALBA 48, 25 and 26, July 13, 1986 and August 19, 1986; Daily Worker November 29, 1938, p. 2; (obituary) Harry Fisher, “Paul Burns,” The Volunteer, Volume 19, No. 1, Winter 1996-97, p. 8. Code A
Biography: Paul Burns ([1906?]-1996) was a writer, teacher, and Writers Union activist. Boston-born of Irish parentage, he worked his way through college and graduated from Middlebury College with an MA in Sociology. In 1937 he enlisted in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight against Franco’s rebel forces in Spain. Burns was a sergeant in command of the Irish section and later became second in command of the infantry, Lincoln Battalion. He was active on the Jarama front and participated in two of the major campaigns of the war; the Battle of Madrid and the offensive at Brunete from July to August 1937. He was wounded twice—first, when shot in the arms and legs in Jarama on February 23, 1937 and again, in Brunete, when he was wounded by machine-gun fire. He left the International Brigades with a final rank of lieutenant. Burns returned to the United States in October 1937 and was subsequently elected national commander of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. He wrote for the Daily Worker, Sunday, and Story Magazine. After settling in Chicago, he became associate editor of the Daily Record, working in his spare time on a book of stories about the Irish battalion of the Lincoln Brigade. He was also a correspondent for the United Nations. Burns died in 1996. He was 90 years old.- Courtesy of Tamiment Library, NYU.
Paul Burns Interview, ALBA V 48-025 & 48-026, July 13, 1986, Manny Harriman Video Oral History Collection; ALBA VIDEO 048; box number 3; folder number 23; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.
Photographs: Paul Burn, New England Fights for Democracy; Paul Burns on right shakes hands with Francis J. Gorman, President of the United Textile Workers of American, Robert Raven is in the center, at right holding the Spanish Flag is Sterling Rochester, veteran holding the flag on the left is unidentified. The photograph was taken on February 12, 1938 during the First National Conference of the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Wikipedia Commons; and a high school and college photograph 1930, Ancestry L-W Tree.