Gentlemen, another batch of excellent and beautifully crafted stories.
Wulfe, if the engine was running at 8,000 RPM, then why not just close the throttle a little? wink As Raine described it best - a jaw-clencher.
Raine, this is amazing! I think the Hun will soon run out of ammunition and give up. Read on.

19 March, 1916 9:45
Senard, Verdun Sector
Escadrille N37
Adjutant Gaston A. Voscadeaux
2 confirmed kills

Voscadeaux was sitting hunched deep inside his cockpit shielding himself from the frigid wind. He was leading the ‘B’ Flight to attack the Spincourt airfield and trying to convince himself that it was not a futile attempt without bombs. Gaston took them along the lines hoping to catch some Fokkers and thus avoiding flying to Spincourt, but no such luck. They haven’t encountered any opposition on the way to target. They've approached the aerodrome from SW and Voscadeaux gave the command to attack. He picked a large building at the west end of the field and fired. He saw tracers following the planes and as he was making a turn for another pass he noticed an Aviatik taking off. He immediately switched to the new target and dove under his tail. He let a few bursts go but had to swerve to avoid a collision. He realized he had too much speed and slowed down enough before his second attack. Again, he crept below the Boche and fired and fired and fired, but the Hun just kept on going. Gaston was gnawing his teeth as his Lewis had ran dry and he had to watch and hope that the indestructible machine will falter and crash to the ground. He was disappointed when the two-seater floated gently to the ground just at the edge of the airfield. Voscadeaux was about to wish the gallant German aircrew a long life of chronic dysentery when an enormous explosion rocked the entire aerodrome. Gaston had to right his plane after the blast had thrown him sideways. One of his wingmen must have had hit the ammunition stores. The place was a mess. People laying around either dead or knocked out. The less fortunate ones were rolling on the ground either trying to put out the flames consuming their clothes or from pain of lost limbs, burnt faces, impaled by debris organs. Gaston called it a day. He signaled to the rest of his flight to regroup and pointed his scout SW and began to climb. He wanted to leave this place as quickly as possible. Not because he couldn't stand the agony below, but because he was out of ammo. He was a sitting duck a l'orange for any Fokker that would happen to fly by. Voscadeaux breathed easier once they crossed the lines. The mission was a resounding success, despite the Aviatik that had gotten away (yet again). Voscadeaux’s wingman, Cpl. Dreux, proudly walked around the aerodrome showing his singed eyebrows to anyone who’d care to inspect them. He was the one who caused the explosion and nearly lost his own life in the process.

"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."