Raine, your report reads like one of the Barmy OFFers Club “meetings”. It was nice of the Major to cover for the trio ... and volunteer them to cover the cost of the party. Scout, that was one determined Hun! Lou, you’re racking it up. Congrats on another confirmed. (And another engine destroyed ...) MFair, what can I say? Time to set up another tree-cutting wager to pay for all the drinks. Carrick, close call!
“Denied.” Capitaine de Bondy’s eyes were piercing Gaston again. “But ...” “No witness, no claim. I am sorry” CO was firm and Gaston could see there was no malice intended, just strict regulations. Rules are rules. He saluted and left the office. It appears his first victory celebration will have to wait for another time. There was no reason to celebrate anyway. Sgt. Armand Levy and his gunner Sgt. Louis Fraissenet were dead buried somewhere in the mud of NML. They were bombing enemy front lines north of St. Mihiel salient at northern end of La Foret de la Reine. Gaston led the formation with Levy as his wingman. The new boy, Durand was bringing up the rear in the A flight. They’ve lost him halfway to the front with engine trouble. Thankfully he made it back in one piece. Voscadeaux and Levy have just finished their bomb runs on enemy forward positions with some well placed hits when a pair of monoplanes came screaming down from the clouds above. They came in fast, too fast and Gaston was able to avoid the attack while they maneuvered for a better position. Becquerel’s gun harassed one that overshot their plane, but Gaston had to brake it off when the second Fokker was attempting to get on his tail. They jostled for position while the first German went after Sgt. Levy. The two pairs split and begun their one-on-one bouts. Gaston managed to keep the Hun in front of him, giving his gunner ample opportunity to get some good hits. Sgt. Voscadeaux didn’t realize how low their fight took them and was reminded by sudden fire from the ground. The Boche were having their revenge after just getting their trenches filled with bombs. Gaston had to break his attack off and his opponent went in the opposite direction, glad of the reprieve, but lost control and crashed into the ground near Fresno-en-Woevre. Levy wasn’t doing nearly as well. Gaston watched as his wingman’s plane made descending circles closely followed by the Eindecker. In the end the Caudron smashed into the ground in a great ball of fire. Gaston tried to chase the other machine, but couldn't catch up. Eventually he turned back and flew home alone. Escadrille C17 has lost another team.
"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."