Armande Arquette

April 15, 1917
Phillipe is dead. It happened so quickly. One minute we were in formation, dropping in to put some lead into a boche aredrome, the next minute he was slumped over in his seat before smashing his nieuport into a german hangar. I can't be sure, but I think it was a good few minutes before I even acknowledged what had just happened. I have been with the escadrille less than a week and already two of the men who had once greeted me so warmly and took me in as one of their own are gone...and it happens so quickly...

April 16, 1917
We were tasked with escorting another group of British two seaters over the lines today. With the loss of Lucien, Phillipe and with Maurice still on leave due to his injuries, I was instructed to lead B flight today. "Stick close to "A" flight and you will do just fine." I was told just before climbing into my nieuport. The problem was, it was so blasted cloudy today. High, towering cumulous clouds, as far as the eye could see. For a brief moment I spotted our charge, a flight of 3 strutters. But then I lost them in a cloud bank. When I turned to see what A flight would do, I was horrified to realize that I had lost them too! Tristian and Claude were sticking tightly to me. Any tighter and I felt like we would risk colliding. I signaled that I had lost visual on the strutter craft and decided that I would fly a patrol of the designated route in hopes that I could spot them again amongst the clouds.
SUCCESS! I spotted a group of three craft, in tight formation, heading along the planed scouting patrol route. I signaled to my wingmates and made due haste to link up. Then...three more craft appeared out of the cloud bank just behind the original three aircraft. "A" flight was only a pair of nieuports...this can't be them...I froze...and realized that these aircraft were not heading towards the German lines, but FROM the German lines. Albatros! To my guilty relief there were not six, but three, and they were harassing a group of strutters! I imagined the two seater pilots screaming "Where is our bloody escort?" To which I replied "On our way boys!" I signaled the attack and dove in to the melee. Blue noses! The same group that Maurice had tangled with just days prior.
With the fresh memory of Maurice bloodied and the loss of two of my comrades I pressed my attack with unrelenting tenacity. My first pass scored hits and one of the Albatros scouts broke away and dove North for his side of the lines. A second scout passed directly in front of me following a strutter whose engine was belching black smoke. I lined up directly behind my prey and emptied my machine gun. The Hun bucked and kicked, rolled over and burst into flames as he plummeted to the ground below.
Totally alone in the sky now, I made my heading due south and set down at Souilly. Tristian and Claude were already at the field waiting for me. They had returned with the other two british two seaters. I got word from one of their observers that the strutter I spotted with the smoking engine had made a successful landing near one of the reserve camps and was telling the tale of the flight of 3 nieports who materialized out of thin air to fight off the Hun. Hopefully he can also corroborate my second victory as well!

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Last edited by Macklroy; 04/17/17 11:39 PM.