Gents, outstanding work! I don't want to name names but Wulfe had outdone himself with the last two entries. Congrats on staying alive and removing the Greeny threat. Loved the pic of the Fee in the foreground with the Fokkers flying below on the NML background. Lou, You are in a league of your own. More victories, more glory, more women throwing themselves at you. Very French of you. And the pic against the cloud background - a masterpiece. Keep it up Gentlemen!
The skies were clear and not a flake of snow on the ground. The ‘B’ Flight was tasked with protecting the ‘A’ Flight on a recon mission of enemy front sector south of St. Mihiel salient. As they were flying near Brocourt-en-Argonne aerodrome, Ltn. Dagonet signalled that he had a problem with his engine and waved Gaston to take over. As they were flying away the flight of four watched from above as their leader was gliding down to the aerodrome. After a short flight to the front lines they arrived over the target and commenced their circuits. It was almost time to return when something didn't feel right to Gaston. He concentrated his attention on the forested area on the German side. At first he didn't see a thing, but then ... Movement! A Fokker was barreling towards them at full speed! Voscadeaux was impressed by the brave Boche. One against four, it didn't feel right, it didn't feel fair, but then he remembered attacking defenseless observation machines out of the sun wasn't right or fair either. His wingmen were swarming all over the monoplane like an angry pack of wolves. Gaston felt as one of them, smelling blood. Voscadeaux quickly glanced at two specks in the sky which he was certain were the two Nieuports from the 'A' Flight but it didn't hurt to make sure. Thankfully it wasn't another Fokker flight. He kept well back observing from above how the Hun was handling himself. He was good and managed to dupe all three of his wing mates. This is when he pounced from his high "perch" like a peregrine hawk in a diving attack. He pressed his attack and landed a few rounds on the German machine, which was immediately followed by more fire from his flight members behind. Gaston stayed high and waited for another opportunity. It presented itself shortly and he didn't waste much time. More hits on the already wounded prey, with vapor emanating from the engine. Adj. Boillot fired at the same time as Gaston and the Hun corkscrewed into the ground. Gaston knew Boillot would claim the brave German. Voscadeaux could only salute the fallen airman and immediately started to climb. He realized he was low in the enemy territory. It was then that it happened. He didn't recognize his surroundings and didn't know which way to turn. Should this forest in the distance be to the north or to the south? He was drawing a blank. Two of his wing mates were forming behind him. He couldn't decide which way to turn. His panic grew as his disorientation increased. He was frightened that he is flying deeper into the enemy held territory. What was he supposed to do! And then a calm voice in his head spoke to him. It was the voice of his wife. The voice he knew so well when she spoke to him so many times when he was stuck with a problem. "- Du calme, Gaston! Think of the first thing anybody does when they're lost. What do they do?" "- They ask for directions. I can't get out and ask! Ridiculous! All I have is my plane, the controls and the instruments. The instruments! There is a compass here!" He looked at his compass as if it were air and he was under water. "- I'm flying NE, I should fly west." He banked to port until the needle was pointing at the big O. He was saved! "- Thank you, Violette!" There was no reply. Gaston crossed the trenches below and noticed there were only two wingmen following him. What happened to Cpl. Dreux? Was he already flying to the aerodrome ahead of them? No, he just noticed another dot on the horizon making its way across the NML. It was him. They were all safe. Now, to find that ungrateful 'A' Flight. Where did they get to now? Gaston scanned the sky, but couldn't locate them, then he looked at his watch. It was past eleven o'clock. 25 minutes of patrol time have elapsed. They must be on their way back. Voscadeaux directed his formation to fly NW. He couldn't wait to get back and get some drink to calm his nerves. He couldn't wait to see his wife.
"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."