BiographyWirta, Paul Edouard b. September 22 (23), 1911, St. Paul, Minnesotta; Finnish American; father David Wirta; Seaman (NMU); No party affiliation (possible CP); Received Passport# 486850 on November 27, 1937 which listed his address as Box 29, Woodland, Washington and Aberdeen, Washington (921 West Perry Street, Aberdeen, Washington); 27 years old; Sailed December 4, 1937 aboard the Lafayette; Arrived in Spain via Espolla on January 4, 1938; Served with the XV BDE, Lincoln-Washington BN, Co. 2; Rank Soldado; Served at the Retreats (Belchite and Caspe) and Ebro Offensive (Gandesa); WIA July 29, 1938 in left hand at Gandesa; Returned to the US on December 20, 1938 aboard the Ausonia; WWII Merchant Marine; d. September 29, 1964 in St. Bernard, Louisiana, buried in the Bolline family crypt; Spoke Finnish and English.
ll. 83 – American, came to Spain. He was returned from the Brigade when he answered to the name of White [Paul]. He was again returned to the Division and again they returned him. It appeared to me then that he was lying the first time (brigade doesn’t just return men from the front without an explanation and they handle there [sic] own disciplinary cases). He was sent to Castellfdefels to work on fortifications.In Castel de FelsDear members, The church of the castle of Castelldefels (Barcelona) was prison of brigadists between April of 1938 and January of 1939. There are two graffitis about two Americans. We can read in the graffiti: - “Paul Wirta – NMU Baltimore MD – Aberdeen Washington” - “Lee Curtis – Chicago IL – U.S.A. – 5 Mayo 38 – Here en Espana for 16 months. So what tu cono”.
Sources: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Figueres List; RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 1014, ll. 85-89; Finnish; Pacific NW; MPE; L-W Tree Ancestry; Find-a-Grave #90068573. Code A
Photographs: Paul Wirta and Carl Bellows, on their return; Seattle Times, December 28, 1938.