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 • East Farmingdale
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Lieut William Eric Aalto
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Birth: Jul. 30, 1915
Bronx County
New York, USA
Death: Jun. 11, 1958
New York
New York County (Manhattan)
New York, USA

A member of the Communist Party, Aalto joined the Abraham Lincoln Battalion, a unit that volunteered to fight for the Popular Front government during the Spanish Civil War.

Aalto arrived in Spain in 1937 and joined the other International Brigades at Albacete. While in Spain he wrote: "A soldier who is politically conscious that he is right and who has a feeling of community with his society will do his job well."

During the Second World War he joined the United States Army and served in North Africa. Aalto was recruited by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) but after it was discovered he was homosexual he was dismissed by William Donovan from the service. Aalto returned to the army and while training soldiers he had his hand blown off by a grenade.

After the war Aalto studied at Columbia University. He published several pieces of his writings in the New Masses. After his betrayal by the OSS Lincoln veterans, Aalto drifted away from contact with the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.

Aalto then travelled to Europe, where he met the poet W.H. Auden. Though sharing the company of other poets, Aalto now wrote little and tended towards alcoholism, frequently becoming violent. Toward the end of his life, he was poet James Schuyler's lover, and featured in the latter's poem Dining Out with Doug and Frank. 

Long Island National Cemetery
East Farmingdale
Suffolk County
New York, USA
Plot: Y, 0, 2655
GPS (lat/lon): 40.75436, -73.39011
Maintained by: Glendora
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 250086
Lieut William Eric Aalto
Added by: captainlaser
Lieut William Eric Aalto
Added by: Glendora
Lieut William Eric Aalto
Added by: Anonymous
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Bill, Thanks for your sacifice. You were the kind of person that has helped to build a better world. You fought for social justice, against racial and sexual discrimination. Your name is revered by the Spanish Republic. Bill, you were a homosexual, but yo...(Read more)
 Added: Jul. 4, 2014

- Glendora
 Added: Jun. 29, 2011
Thank you for your service
- Sue Fitzpatrick
 Added: Nov. 2, 2009
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