I came across a very interesting photo album on Flickr the other day. It appears the State Archives of North Carolina digitized 108 photographs from the Kiffin Y. Rockwell Papers that is part of their WWI Collection. They were recently uploaded to Flickr this August. Rockwell is one of the more famous American volunteers who entered Foreign Legion, along with his brother Paul, on 02 October, 1914. Both were wounded at the front and sent to convalesce in Paris. Paul was mustered out of active service and became a war reporter but Kiffen, after five months with the 1st Foreign Regiment, was able to finagle a transfer to an aviation squadron that would later become the Lafayette Escadrille. On September 23, 1916 Kiffen Rockwell was killed in combat–shot down while flying over the trenches.
This album contains many pictures of Rockwell’s time spent in Battalion C, 2nd Marching Regiment, of the Second Foreign Regiment of the Foreign Legion in addition to his aviation activities and recovery period in Paris. Many of the photographs have informative captions that tell the location, names of people and what is happening in the scene. I have only seen one of these pictures before and am thrilled to see more forgotten treasures surface from the musty archives of universities. Below are several samples I pulled from the album. You can download the entire 108 pictures by clicking on the little down arrow under the title of the album. Note: There is a Paul Ayres Rockwell collection at the National Aerospace Museum but this appears to remain not digitized however they did provide the photograph above which is not part of the Flickr album. It shows both Rockwell brothers in French uniform.