Thursday, September 22, 2016

Asheville Volunteer in Franco-American Flying Corps Killed on Verdun Front, 1916

“Asheville Man Killed in Battle in France,” from the French Broad Hustler, Hendersonville, N.C., September 28, 1916. As I typed in this story, I wondered about the young man who had volunteered in France, and I fonnd this picture on Wikipedia ( At the outbreak of war, Kiffen and his brother Paul enlisted in the French Foreign Legion.

Kiffin Yates Rockwell

Kiffin Rockwell of Asheville, one of the most expert birdmen serving with the French aviation corps, was killed Saturday during an engagement with enemy airships. Announcement of his death was contained in a brief cablegram sent to his mother, Mrs. Loula Ayres Rockwell at Winston-Salem, and transmitted by her to Miss Agnes Rockwell, a sister of the dead airman, who is at present at the Rockwell home on Hillside Street, Asheville.

An Associated Press dispatch from Paris dated Sunday says the aerial fight in which Rockwell was mortally wounded by a German airman took place over the town of Thann. The body of the America aviator fell in the re-conquered territory in Alsace, near the spot where Rockwell shot down his first adversary five months ago. Rockwell was serving as a volunteer in the Franco-American flying corps on the Verdun front. A few hours previous to the engagement he had been promoted to the rank of second lieutenant, but died without knowing of the new honor. He already had received the military medal for shooting down a German two-seater near Hartmans-Wellerkopf in May. He had beaten down another before Verdun and had participated in a thrilling combat in which nearly all the Franco-American flotilla was engaged with a strong German fore. He was wounded during the fight by a fragment of shell while engaged alone with three adversaries.

This image is from You will find more information on Kiffin Rockwell at that location.

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