Ma Chere Violette, I am hoping this letter will find you in good health. I am writing to you only a few words as I don’t have much time. I have great news! Today, after my mission I was called into our Capitaine’s office. You will remember him from my previous letters. Capitaine de Bondy announced that I am being transferred to a new unit. With the ever-growing threat from the Boche aeroplanes the French Command decided to bolster their scout ranks to protect the vulnerable observation machines. This means moving promising pilots to new units. I’ve been chosen to fly scouts! The little contraptions I’ve been telling you about. I have to pack today and take the train this evening to my new aerodrome west of Verdun. I’ve been told I will be joining Escadrille N37, which means I’ll be flying Nieuports! I will write more once I’m there. I hope you are very proud of me and I miss you and the girls very much! Please give Giselle and Bernadette my love. Ton mari, Gaston
P.S. When I broke the news to Ernest he was very upset, but after discussing it over a bottle of la gnôle I convinced him to let me go and for him to enlist in pilot school. Perhaps we will meet again?
P.P.S. I had to give Becquerel your picture I kept stuck to the cockpit. He is convinced it is a good luck charm. In return, Ernest gave me his picture when he was still in the army, which I am enclosing in this letter. You’ll finally see what the man looks like.
"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."