6 February , 1916 9:11 Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux
The orders for today’s mission were simple: Fly over the enemy camp stationed on the banks of the Meuse River in the St. Mihiel salient and spot for the artillery. Make sure to stay in the area for 24 minutes before returning to the base and report. Take Caporal Dreux with you as your wingman in ‘B’ Flight to gain more experience. Don’t worry. S.Ltn. Medeville and Adj. Barnay will fly top cover in the ‘A’ Flight and protect you. The flight to the front was pleasant with blue skies increasingly being infested with clouds as the planes approached their recon area in the west. Gaston “parked” his Nieuport over the camp and Christophe occupied himself with observing the troops and the fall of ranging shots falling woefully far away from their intended target. Once the allotted time elapsed, Voscadeaux and his wingman gladly returned to clear skies back over Senard. While in transit Gaston noticed the City of Verdun in the distance. He realized it was the first time he ever saw it from the sky. The city was impressive and he was glad the Boche never came this far and failed to do any damage. He will have to make the point to fly over it one day and see the multitude of forts protecting this area.
7 February , 1916 9:02 Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux
Back to the St. Mihiel salient for more arty spotting. Gaston was paired with Caporal Papinet in ‘B’ Flight for this run. S.Ltn. Medeville in ‘A’ Flight provided top cover. It was very misty and the visibility was poor. They flew along the lines and observed shells falling near the enemy camp. Durand made some notes and signaled for a return to base. It was “une mission tranquille”. Gaston thought to himself that if it continues like this, he’ll ask one of the mechanics to install a shelf on top of the front cowling, so that he could put his feet up and enjoy the sightseeing trips they are being sent on.
8 February , 1916 Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux
No flights today. Sleet and snow continued to fall throughout the entire day. Gaston occupied himself with inspecting the 7,7 rounds, discarding any that looked suspect and loading the good ones into the Lewis pan magazines. By the end of the day he had a bucket full of discarded rounds. Why do the British call them .303?
9 February , 1916 Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sergent Gaston A. Voscadeaux
Still no luck. More snow. Today Gaston decided to work on the Étéve machine gun mount in the rear seat cockpit of his Nieuport 12. Christophe complained recently it was getting stuck. Voscadeaux, with the help of one of the mechanics disassembled the mount, lubed all moving parts and put it all back together. He tried it out and found it to be smoother than a greased up monkey slipping on a banana peel thrown on a melting iceberg.
"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."