Gavin, Robert Owen.

Biography

Gavin, Robert Owen b. May 5, 1908, Oklahoma; African American; father Owen Gavin (1861-1912), mother Bertha J. Connor (1880-1947); Single (Married); Journalist and Engineer; No political affiliation; Received Passport# 476728 on September 16, 1937 which listed his address as 1577 East Lafayette Street, Detroit, Michigan; Scope of Soviet Activity notes passport lost in Spain; Sailed October 2, 1937 aboard the Georgic; Arrived in Spain via Espolla on October 15, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Medical Services; Lincoln-Washington BN; Mackenzie-Papineau BN; Rank Soldado; Reported MIA March 10, 1938, Caspe, during the Retreats with note "visto Mora Ebro AutoPark 20-3" Seen Mora Ebro AutoPark on March 20, 1938; WIA March 10, 1938 on Belchite Front, hospital Cuartel San Sebastien through April 30, 1938 then to Hospital Mataro en the Guard Company; Scope of Soviet Activity notes passport lost in Spain; No return found; Possibly shipped back as a shiphand; WW II Merchant Marine as Licensed Junior Engineer; d. December 1970 in Camden, NJ.
Siblings: brothers John Henry (1905-1925), Eugene Victor (1909-1988), Logan Shoemaker (1904-1981); sisters Minnie L (1887-?), Alberta (1889-?), Bobelink (1891-?), Anna Mae (1892-1968), Catherine (1893-1971); Nellie (1895-1961).
Sources: Scope of Soviet Activity; BN 58 Retreats; Figueres List; RGASPI Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 549, ll.34 (ver gen amer); Opis 6, Delo 894; ll. 149; USSDA 2:0572, 54:0738 (under Owen, Robert- mother states that he was American Indian) 2:0820, 58:0569, African Americans; L-W Tree Ancestry. Code A Biography: Robert Owen Gavin may have been an American Indian instead of an African-American. He was the older brother of Eugene Victor Gavin. Born in Oklahoma on May 5, 1908, Gavin lived with his wife in Philadelphia. Issued a passport valid for travel to England, France, and Scotland, Gavin sailed for Europe aboard the Georgic on October 2, 1937. In Spain Gavin served as a medic in the XVth Brigade. The Spanish Ministry of Defense reported that Gavin disappeared during the month of March of 1938, in combat against the enemy, defending the Republic, in the sector of Belchite-Caspe. Gavin actually left Spain on his own. Robert Owen Gavin died in December 1970, in New Jersey. ~ Chris Brooks