Exactly 95 years ago to this very day, dear Kiffin gave his life for freedom, a true American hero who was not afraid to die for what he believed in. The following excerpt is taken from a newspaper article announcing his tragic death:
"On Sept. 23, 1916, Kiffin received a hit in the chest by an exploding German cannon shell, fired from an enemy plane, and was killed. Paul said many times later than the shell that killed his brother was an illegal weapon."
Here his colleague James Rogers McConnell pays tribute to Kiffin Rockwell who was a great favorite with his companions:
"No greater blow could have befallen the escadrille. Kiffin was its soul. He was loved and looked up to by not only every man in our flying corps, but by every one who knew him. Kiffin was imbued with the spirit of the cause for which he fought, and gave his heart and soul to the performance of his duty. He said: 'I pay my part for Lafayette and Rochambeau,' and he gave the fullest measure. The old flame of chivalry burned brightly in this boy's fine and sensitive being. With his death France lost one of her most valuable pilots."
I realize very well that this happened a very long time ago, and really who even cares any more about what happened way back during WWI? This will probably all but be forgotten in the near future, but I feel obliged to my namesake and thinks it's very important to keep his memory alive as long as possible.