Carrick, finally a mount with a forward-firing weapon! I smell another Ace in the makings. Lou, the problems a double Ace must face. Hopefully Swany will be able to post a picture of the said rosette. Any word from Georgette? Wulfe, an exciting battle with that Eindecker. Close call with the target fixated wingmen and I loved the silent exchange with the Quirk’s observer. Ok, I hate night flying. I hate Fokkers. I hate engines dying at low altitude with no place to land.
3 April, 1916 05:35 morning mission Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sous Lietenent Gaston A. Voscadeaux 9 confirmed kills
Finally the heavy rain clouds cleared this morning and Gaston was greeted with blue skies and bright sun. They have loaded Le Prieur rockets for their attack on enemy troop camp south of Grandpré. They've departed at 05:35 and made a quick trip to the target area. Gaston was stoked. He will finally fire the rockets he tried so many times to use before. This time there was no raid on the aerodrome, no dud engines. Voscadeaux was lined up and looking at the tents and sheds in the distance. He made himself ready, finger ready on the trigger. "- On y va!" Gaston pressed the trigger. Nothing. He pressed again. Nothing again. He was now flying through a hail of bullets. The rockets would not fire. "- Merde! Merde! Merde!" Voscadeaux was furious. "What is wrong with these things?" He saw other also having similar problem. They all circled back and returned with no damage inflicted to the camp. Gaston landed his plane and kicked the ground out of frustration as he walked back to the mess hall. It was later discovered that due to the recent wet weather the fuses on the rockets had become damp and would not fire. Gaston was not amused. At the mess he looked for a bottle of red to drown his sorrows.
3 April, 1916 13:30 afternoon mission Senard, Verdun Sector Escadrille N37 Sous Lietenent Gaston A. Voscadeaux 9 confirmed kills
They have loaded Le Prieur rockets again on Voscadeaux's machine with assurances that this time they will truly work. Gaston wasn't so sure but took them along nevertheless. They were to attack factories at Martincourt. The weather turned and thick mist settled over the surrounding country. The French Ace took his two wingmen and navigated through this mist into La Bochie. It was a long flight but thankfully uneventful. Gaston saw the factories below and gave the signal to attack. Before take off they decided they will all attack as one and release their ordnance at the same time for maximum damage. This was the moment Gaston waited for a very long time now. They were getting close. With his trigger at the ready, Gaston concentrated on the task and when the first burst of Flak exploded close to his bus, he involuntarily squeezed the trigger. The rockets with great billows of smoke, one by one, left his aeroplane. "Non, non, non! Come back!" Gaston accidentally released his missiles and the wingmen followed. The entire salvo went to waste. Not a single one hit the intended target. With his mouth wide open in disbelief, he was inhaling the acrid smoke left by his weapons. Gaston was foiled again. They started to shoot their Lewis MGs, but the brick structures of the factory did not show any signs of damage. It was futile and Gaston realized it right away. He gave another signal to reform. They were defeated and retreating with Flak mocking them as far as its range would allow it. Voscadeaux watched his wingmen form behind him when one of them veered off to one side and started to make abrupt direction changes. He was a dot now, but not alone. Another dot joined him in the deadly dance. Gaston quickly turned back to help his wingman. It was Adjutant Adelus, but he didn't need any help. He was pounding on an Eindecker, which was currently trailing a thick tail of gray smoke. Gaston watched with pleasure the enemy squirm uselessly, but then Adelus broke off his attack and flew towards the front lines, totally ignoring his target. Was he out of ammo? They did expend much of it on the factory walls. Without thinking twice, Voscadeaux took his wingman's place and brought the Boche down. The engagement was over and they all turned for home, but the Huns haven't quite finished playing yet. Two more Fokkers milled around above, observing the fight and now one of them dove down to attack the French fliers. It was purely by chance that Gaston noticed the move and countered the German's maneuver. The monoplane was no match for the French Ace and soon ended up in front of his gun. Voscadeaux was certain he had him and kept landing shots, despite the other airman's attempts to break free. Just a few more burst and ... Gaston was out of bullets. He flew alongside the Hun and watched him. The German retuned the gaze. He was a young boy with cheeks red from the cold wind. He formed a feeble smile, probably thinking that Gaston spared his life on purpose. Gaston flicked his hand off his flying cap fashioning a weak salute, then banked away from the young Boche and flew back home keeping an eye for any high-flying Huns attempting to ambush him. Back at the base he put in a claim for one Fokker. Adjutant Adelus was sore his near kill was snatched from him.
"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."