Biography(Robert O’Connell); b. January 12, 1910, Brooklyn, New York; father Francis Ford, mother Elsie Van Nami; Prior service in the US Army, National Guard, 160th Infantry Regiment, 1932-37, Rank SGT; Single; Actor and Operator; CP 1936 (19) unit organizer; Received Passport# 25927, San Francisco series, on March 25, 1937 which listed his address as 5958 Carlton Way, Los Angeles, California; Sailed April 15, 1937 aboard the Berengaria; Arrived in Spain on April 28, 1937; Served with the XV BDE, Washington BN, MG Co., Section 2; Lincoln-Washington BN, Plaza Mayor, Armory; Rank Soldado; Returned to the US on December 20, 1938 aboard the Ausonia; WWII Armed forces; emigrated to New Zealand in the 1950s.
Sources: Sail; Scope of Soviet Activity; Cadre; Pay; Washington; RGASPI. Code A
Biography: Son of Francis Ford and Elsie Van Nami. ------- Bob Ford and his wife Augusta emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1950s and he died there in Takapuna which is a suburb of the principal city Auckland. The Auckland Museum holds a number of postcards and letters Ford sent during his time with the brigades. His discharge papers and his IB passbook (number 38758) are also held there. His uncle was John Ford the famous movie director. Bob was an exceedingly tall man and there is a photo of him in later life in "Kiwi Camaneros". "In a house filled with books, cats and records, the two non-aligned leftists (i.e. Bob and Augusta) brought a flavour of US progressive liberalism to the closeted world of 1950s New Zealand. Bob owned hundreds of jazz records, which became increasingly important to him as he lost his sight in old age". Submitted by John Shennan.
Photograph: Robert Preston Ford in Spain, RA Fond 545, Opis 6, Delo 891.