Gaston is getting the hang of locating the factories and managing to place his bombs on target. It helps that he’s already been to this particular one at Vigneulles les Hattonchatel. He led Cpl. Sourdiac in B flight who, along with Adj. Mezergues in A flight, were in turn escorted by no less than 3 N-10’s from Esc 31. It is nice to have a protection flying with you. There is a perceived morale boost when going over the line in force. The job becomes that much easier. Instead of dividing your attention between navigating and scanning for enemy planes, all one has to do now is simply check for your escorting flight. If they remain in their normal position, then you know you’re safe. The escort will spot the enemy long before you do and will give chase, so that you can continue with your mission. Gaston took advantage of that fact and concentrated solely on navigating to the target area. The factories were easily located and attacked by all flight members with the escorts being treated to a fireworks display. There were good hits and they left the factory engulfed in smoke. The return trip was uneventful and everyone landed safely, including all members of the escort flight. Later that day Adjutant Dumas was giving a tour to the new arrival. It was the replacement for Sergent Reille killed on the 15th. They caught up with Gaston in the mess where he was just finishing his serving of la gnôle. Dumas introduced him as Sgt. Ernest Durand. In Gaston’s eyes the boy wasn’t older than poor Reille. Hopefully he will last longer than him as well.
"Take the cylinder out of my kidneys, The connecting rod out of my brain, my brain, From out of my arse take the camshaft, And assemble the engine again."