Friday, September 29, 2017

Thomas Page

Thomas Page was born in New York today 108 years ago. He attended high school for two years. During the early years of the Depression, Page was unable to find employment and for a brief period resorted to the illegal manufacture and sale of liquor. Page's politicization began through his involvement in the Unemployed Councils, and he joined the Communist party in 1934. 
"As I understood events in that particular era," he later remembered, "it was the Communist party who did anything. Everybody else just talked." Page left for Europe aboard the Washington, on March 10, 1937. In Spain his first assignment was to drive a truck in a convoy heading for the Cordoba Front. There he was attached to a machine gun company of the 20th International Battalion. Page was eventually reassigned to the XVth Brigade's Auto Park where he served as a driver. He later joined the Lincoln-Washington Battalion. Having proved himself in combat, Page was made a squad leader, noted for the care and time he took in training young Spanish conscripts assigned to his unit. During the Ebro Campaign, Page was twice cited for bravery. Late in the offensive he received severe wounds to his shoulder and stomach and spent much of his remaining time in Spain hospitalized. He returned to the United States on the Ausonia on December 20, 1938. Back in New York, Page worked as a guard at the Soviet Pavilion at the New York World's Fair and then in the New York fur market. When World War II began, Page joined the U. S. Army. Assigned to Company C, 376th Engineering Brigade he served in North Africa, Italy and France. After the war Page took up photography and learned camera repair. During the 1950s, he had several visits from the FBI. These eventually stopped because he persistently refused to talk to them. Later Page worked for the Bell Telephone Company until his retirement. He died in April 1985. 

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