Kiffin Y. Rockwell WWI Photographs
This album is composed of over 100 original photographs documenting the personal life and military service of Kiffin Yates Rockwell of Newport, TN, and Asheville, N.C., from 1893 to his death in 1916. The photographs were originals kept by his mother, sister, and brother Paul Rockwell while he was serving in the French Foreign Legion and later in the Escadrille Americaine (also referred to as the “Lafayette Escadrille”) in the French Aviation Service during World War I. The majority of the photographs are from a personal photo album kept by Kiffin's mother Loula Ayres and sister Agnes, beginning apparently just before or after Kiffin Rockwell's death in September 1916. These photographs are part of a collection at the State Archives of North Carolina that consists of the majority of Kiffin Rockwell's personal letters to his mother Loula from 1914 to 1916.

The majority of the photographs were taken by or printed by Kiffin's brother and fellow Foreign Legion soldier Paul Ayres Rockwell. Most of the descriptions of the photographs were taken from original identifications by Paul and Loula Rockwell on the backs of the photographs, and from the photo album's captions for the images. Although a number of these photographs have been mass-produced and seen by the public over the years, a large number of these photographs are one-of-a-kind prints--particularly those photographs of Kiffin Rockwell in his youth before the war. The photographs were the personal copies of the Rockwell family. By 1920, the family had donated about 30 loose photographs from Kiffin Rockwell's life and military service, including the last-known photograph taken of him on September 22, 1916. The remaining photographs came in a photo album from Kiffin's mother, donated to the State Archives of North Carolina in 1971 as an addition to the Kiffin Rockwell Papers.

Research was conducted to identify or confirm captions on the photographs. Some of the captions were incorrect or incorrectly spelled, and these were corrected in the image descriptions. Some of the photographs were unidentified, or had photo album paper glue to the descriptions on the backs of the photographs (which cannot be read). This is the largest collection of original photographs documenting Kiffin Rockwell and the Lafayette Escadrille available currently online. Other collections of Rockwell and Lafayette Escadrille photographs are available in the Rockwell brothers' papers at Washington and Lee University, and in Paul Ayres Rockwell's collection at the Smithonian.

From Kiffin Y. Rockwell Papers, WWI 122, WWI Papers, Military Collection, State Archives of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.
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