Armande Arquette:

April 13, 1917
Today our flight took a trip east of Verdun to patrol the front near St. Mehiel. Maurice Camplan, Phillipe Taxieres and myself made up the patrol. We were only just arriving when Maurice spotted 3 enemy scouts below us. Albatros DIIIs with their noses painted solid blue. He motioned for me to hold altitude and he and Phillipe dove into the attack. The skirmish was over in just a few brief moments, with the boche machines making a run for their lines. I dropped down and rejoined my wingmates and we made for home.

April 14, 1917
Today we were tasked with escorting a flight of 3 Sopwith strutters from RNAS 3 who were flying a recce patrol over the lines west of Verdun. Lucien Belocq was leading our flight of 4, Maurice, Phillipe and myself. We caught up with the British two seaters just west of our field and headed for the front lines. The weather was finally agreeable for flying but the Hun were not so agreeable. Very shortly into the patrol, Lucien signaled that the recce flight was in trouble. Sure enough, a pair of Albatros scouts were harassing our British comrades. Without hesitation, all three nieuports dove into the attack and in a blink the fight was on. I was a little slow in engaging and as I started my dive I noticed another group of German scouts joining the fight. I picked one out and followed him down. His craft had a distinct emblem painted on it's side. A black and white symbol swirling around itself. I put my nose down and gave him a long burst. He peeled off his attack and dove away.
By now the fight had spread itself all over the sky. Everywhere I looked there where planes buzzing around each other. I picked a group and headed toward them. It was a lone nieuport being pursued by three albatros DIIs. But before I could reach them to lend a hand I was buzzed by a Hun two seater...a roland! Where did HE come from. No time to wonder. I whipped my craft toward him and we passed nearly head on, both of our guns blazing away. Somehow we managed to miss each other but it was enough for him to decide to head for home.
I desperately scanned the sky for any sign of that lone nieuport. "Where has he GONE?" I was screaming, knowing no one was listening. Off to the south I spotted two lone aircraft, flying together and heading for our side of the lines. I pointed myself in their direction and caught up with them quickly. Two of the British strutters were making for home. With no sign of any other machine, friend or foe, I joined up with the two recce craft and made for home.
Upon arriving at the field, Phillipe Taxieres was waiting for me. "Thought you might have bought it." he said almost half surprised to see me. "Maurice got pretty banged up. His engine gave out just our side of the front lines. Made a pretty ugly mess of his nieuport, They took him to the aid station, besides a nasty scar he should be good to go in a couple days. Lucien wasn't so lucky. Picked up three enemy machines while trying to save one of those blasted British chaps. Saw him go down over no mans land. No mistaking it..."
Before I could even get a word out Phillipe looked back up and said, "but I hear you bagged your first Hun!" Congrats on the paperwork newbie! Before he left for the aid station, Maurice said he saw you put an albatros into the ground, said it had some fancy emblem painted on it. Don't spend too much time filling out your claim...we go back up in a few hours."

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