First to Fight

An American Volunteer in the French Foreign Legion and the Lafayette Escadrille in World War I

Steven Tom

First to Fight is a high-octane drama of a remarkable soldier, one of the first American fighter pilots at the dawn of aerial combat, the era of the Red Baron.
Publication date:
December 2019
Publisher :
Stackpole Books
Language:
English
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9780811738040

Dimensions : 229 X 152 mm
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This book is available
£19.95

Overview
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• Details the career of the first American pilot to shoot down a German plane during WWI.
• Explores the lives of the American volunteers who served long before the US drafted its first soldier.

Five weeks after the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914, American Kiffin Rockwell was on a ship for France. The United States would not join the war nearly three years, but Rockwell believed it was time to fight. In France, he joined the elite French Foreign Legion and was soon fighting in the trenches of the Western Front. A combat wound in 1915 rendered him unfit to fight on the ground, so Rockwell volunteered to fight in the air, joining the brand-new Lafayette Escadrille, a storied fighter squadron of volunteer pilots, most of them American, most of them wealthy aristocrats. In May 1916, Rockwell became the first American pilot to shoot down a German plane and soon after was wounded in the skies over Verdun. He flew the Lafayette Escadrille's every mission until his death in aerial combat in September 1916.

First to Fight is a high-octane drama of a remarkable soldier and pilot who fought in the trenches and in the skies during World War I. It is the story of one of the first American fighter pilots at the dawn of aerial combat, the era of the Red Baron, with dogfighting biplanes high above the trench lines. But more than a World War I story, more than an aviation story, this is the story of an idealist who volunteered--long before his country drafted its first soldier--to fight, and ultimately die, in defense of civilization.