The following two articles discuss the adventures of Bennett J. Doty, a young American adventurer who enlisted in the Foreign Legion on 12 June 1925, fought for France in Syria that year, deserted from the Legion but was caught and condemned to death. American public outcry and diplomatic intervention succeeded in getting his execution commuted to a life sentence and then ultimately secured his freedom from both the Legion and French prison. In 1928, a liberated Bennett Doty wrote a book about his Foreign Legion experiences called Legion of the Damned which was a popular seller at the time and one of the most exciting and action packed Foreign Legion memoirs that I’ve read. (Unfortunately, Legion of the Damned has never been republished yet and original copies are hard to come by.)
Both articles are from The Literary Digest (as found on Unz.org). A Deserter Who Was Not Shot was published 14 August 1926 and covers the period when Doty was imprisoned. Doty’s Wild Adventures in the Legion was published in 21 January 1928 and discusses Doty’s recently released book. I’ll soon be posting a review of Legion of the Damned.