BiographyReed, Robert Lee. (Bob Roberts); b. July 6, 1914, Coolidge, Limestone County, Texas; CoB; Father Kelly Reed (1883-1948), mother Eula Eva Johnston (1892-1979); Attended Commonwealth College, Mena, Arkansas 1932; No prior military service; Single; Party organizer, Southern Tenant Farmers Union, United Auto Workers; CP November 1933 and YCL 1935, organizer; Received Passport# 391391 on April 13, 1937 which listed his address as 252 Farnsworth Avenue, Detroit, Michigan (525 E. 6th Street, NYC); Sailed April 24, 1937 aboard the Vollendam; Arrived in Spain on May 30, 1937 after survived the sinking of the City of Barcelona; Trained in Tarazona; Served with the XV BDE, Mackenzie-Papineau BN, Co. 1 and Co. 2; Section Leader and acting Company Commander; Rank Sargento; Served at Fuentes del Ebro, Teruel, Segura de los Baños, Retreats, and the Ebro Offensive; WIA February 18, 1938 at Segura de los Baños, hit in the head while cutting barbed wire, wounded a second time on August 18, 1938 at Gandesa, hit in the leg during an attack; In hospital Barcelona 2 weeks for illness, Valls 1 week for illness, Caldes de Malavella 3 weeks for wound, and Mataro 3 weeks for wound; Returned to the US on December 15, 1938 aboard the Paris; Married Mary Aileen Reed (1916-2007) on February 23, 1939 in Michigan, they divorced July 12, 1945, in Detroit; WWII US Army, Quartermaster Corps assigned to the 8th Air Force Service Command, later transferred to the 9th Air Force Service and Engineer Command, ETO England, France and Germany, rank Master Sergeant; Married Mildred Asline (1915-2008) on November 27, 1945; d. January 29, 2005, Seattle, Washington; Conducted extensive research on volunteers from the Pacific North West; The Reed Collection is part of the Special Collections Archives in the University of Washington.
Siblings: brothers John Wesley Reed (1919-2013), Joe M. Reed (1922-1971), Tommie Maddox Reed (1924-2016), sisters Janelle Reed (1917-?), Eula Jean Reed (1932-2017).
Sources: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Cadre; Mac-Paps; Pay; RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 969, ll. 16-31; ALBA 082 Robert Reed: Northwest Volunteers Research Project Records; ALBA PHOTO 005 Robert Reed Photographs, University of Washington; Good Fight C; Harriman; Pacific NW; (obituary) Abe Osheroff, “Bob Reed, 1915-2005,” The Volunteer, Volume 27, No. 1, March 2005, p. 20; (obituary) Chris Brooks and Lisa Clemmer, “Bob Reed, 1914-2005,” The Volunteer, Volume 27, No. 2, June 2005, p. 21. Code A
Biography: Robert Reed (1914-2005) was an Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran, born in Rodney, Texas, who spent much of his later life in the Seattle area. Prior to his Spanish civil war service, Reed had worked as a tenant farm organizer with the Southern Tenant Farmers Union. After returning from Spain, he served in the U.S Army during World War II, and after the War was a Communist Party activist in Detroit. He eventually earned a Masters in Social Work at the University of Washington, following which he directed a service center for residents of a low-income housing community. Throughout his life, Reed participated in a great many progressive political organizations and campaigns: he was especially active in opposing U.S interventions in Central America throughout the 1980s. Beginning in the late 1970s, Reed decided, along with fellow veteran Oiva Halonen (1912-1981), to undertake a history of other Spanish Civil War volunteers with some association to the Pacific Northwest (specifically from the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington). They wished to obtain biographical information on volunteers who either lived in the region before they went to Spain, or who settled there at a later point in their lives. Halonen died in 1981 but Reed continued with this project until its completion in 1994. In the process of obtaining biographical, photographic and other research material on these individual veterans, Reed was in regular contact with ALBA archivist Victor Berch, and received research assistance from several others, particularly University of Washington Historian Joan Ullman, student assistant Jeremy Egolf, and Linn Shapiro, who obtained important material from the National Archives. Ultimately, documentary material was collected on over 100 volunteers with a definite presence in the Pacific Northwest at some point in their lives, along with a list of 19 other volunteers whose connections were less clear. Reed completed his research at the beginning of 1994, and made a few additions and corrections in 1995, whereupon he deposited these materials in both the ALBA and the University of Washington archives. ~ Courtesy Tammiment Library, NYU.
Photographs: Bob Reed, International Brigade Archive, Moscow: Select Images, Folder 188: 15th International Brigade Volunteers, Portraits, 1937-38, Box 2, Folder 14; ALBA Photo 177; ALBA Photo number 177-188031. Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, 70 Washington Square South, New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries; and RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 969.; Bob Reed, October 14, 1998, by Richard Bermack.