Sunday, September 25, 2016

Kiffin Rockwell of Asheville, Flying Ace with French Foreign Legion, Died Sept. 25, 1916

“Young Rockwell Fell Where He Won Glory,” from the Hickory Daily Record, Sept. 25, 1916. I found this and another story about Kiffin Rockwell after my post about him on Sept. 22, 2016. To see photos of Rockwell and his grave in France, go to that day's post. 
Paris, Sept. 25—The aerial fight in which Sergeant Kiffin Rockwell of Asheville and Atlanta was mortally wounded yesterday morning by a German airman, took place over the town of Thann. The body of the American aviator fell in reconquered 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 Hartsman-Weilerlopf in May. He had another before Verdun and had participated in a thrilling combat in which nearly all the Franco-American flotilla was engaged with a strong German force. He was wounded during the fight by a fragment of shell while engaged alone with three adversaries.
Sergeant Rockwell was one of the first American volunteers to join the French Foreign Legion. He was grievously wounded in a bayonet attack at Arras in May, 1915, before being transferred to the flying corps. He was regarded in French aviation circles as an “ace,” a name given to the most skillful, daring pilots.

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