What a bloodthirsty trio! Gentlemen, it is great to read how your three pilot stories mesh together. I enjoy reading them all. Another quiet day for Gaston.
1 March , 1916 8:10 Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Adjutant Gaston A. Voscadeaux
The word is that the German advance had been brought nearly to a halt. The Boche have advanced too far and lost their artillery cover. With the warmer weather melting the snow and turning the frozen ground back to mud, it is difficult for the Huns to move the heavy guns forward. This last advance also brought them into range of the French artillery. No such luck in the air. More losses to Fokker menace. The task of regaining control of the air was entrusted to the Fifth Army’s aviation commander, Charles de Rose. Pétain’s instructions were simple: ‘Clear the skies for me, de Rose! I’m blind! Everyone is at your disposal – in the rear and at the front – so you can organize things how you like. Nothing will be denied you. But get a move on! You can see the situation with your own eyes. It’s quite simple. If we’re driven from the skies, we’ll lose Verdun.’
Capitaine Louis Joseph Marie Quillien was finishing his mission briefing. It was another arty spotting south of St. Mihiel and ‘B’ Flight would provide cover. “- And finally, Sergent Voscadeaux, for your exemplary service and devotion to duty, you are hereby awarded the rank of Adjutant. Congratulations!” Playful boos and jeers came from the back, especially from S. Ltn. Roze - his observer. Gaston was dumbstruck. A promotion! Why him? He hasn’t done anything extraordinary, doesn’t even have one Hun under his belt. The briefing room was starting to clear. The C.O. was standing outside and wishing everyone good luck on their mission. When Gaston walked out and headed to his plane, le Capitaine stopped him. “- Adjutant Voscadeaux, where are you going?” Gaston didn’t understand the question. He responded with the obvious: “- To ... the ... aeroplane, mon Capitaine?” The Captain was amused: “- No, no, mon ami. Our Adjutants fly single-seaters.” Gaston’s jaw was hanging low in bewilderment. “- Re ... really? I get to fly the N-10?” Quillien enjoyed this. “- Come, let me introduce you to your new mount.”
It was a quiet flight with no drama. Gaston was sitting in the cockpit getting used to his new office. It didn’t differ that much from the N-12 he flew, but he could have sworn he can see at least an additional 1000 m further in this new bird. He followed the obs. machine and kept close to it. Gaston remembers well what the two-seat crews feel when their escort flies off into the wild blue yonder. He promised himself he will not do that unless to go after the Hun. Fog developed on the way back and it was hard to find the aerodrome in this soup. They were all able to land without any incidents. Things are looking up.
"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."