Lou, that is the point. All the Huns Gaston encounters run for home as soon as they see him. And I must say, Swany is getting spoiled with all those fandangled toys attached to the front of the cockpit. Looking forward to that first encounter with the Hun. Are they in for a surprise! Wulfe, congrats on that third victory. You will soon have to look for a longer ribbon for all those palms. I say it was a good thing that the Boche was a novice. Imagine if it were an Aviatik instead. You could have easily gone back to the hospital after just one mission. Fullard needed an easy target to get back in the saddle.
There was a nice surprise this morning. Adjutant Delbee was back from the hospital and in flying form. There was another surprise waiting in his C.O.’s office. A promotion to the rank of Capitaine was to be bestowed on Gaston. This was to go along with his recent award of Légion d’Honneur and his third palm for the Croix de Guerre. Gaston had this strong feeling of deja vu. He had just taken off and was in pursuit of a trio of Fokkers attempting to raid their aerodrome. He felt like it was just yesterday that this exact same situation played out over Senard. He wasn't wrong. The last raid occurred yesterday afternoon and now he watch through his wind screen as three monoplanes were escaping north. He was gaining on them and saw as one of them detached ... and drove straight vertically down into the ground. The troops below must have gotten him. Gaston could only hope the Boche was already dead before he hit the ground. There were two more Huns ahead that would join him if Voscadeaux would have his way. Gaston didn't have to wait long for the second Eindecker to split formation and turn toward him. They were now twisting above the troop camp and Gaston knew he daren't disappoint. Finally the Hunnish machine was riddled with bullets and was floating up-side-down to the ground. Another smoking crater was now decorating the camp. Voscadeaux waved to the troops below, who were waving back with their tiny arms, raising their tiny faces into the sky and shielding their tiny eyes from the sun with their tiny hands.
Gaston tried to find the last of the raiders, but by now he was probably half way to his aerodrome with the news of defeat. “- It is good.” He thought, "- Let there be witnesses to this carnage. Let them think twice before sending more fodder for Gaston's Violette." He didn't like that term. Fodder was for beasts of burden. Violette was none of that. The ‘B’ flight reformed around the Nieuport 12 and escorted her all the way to the recon area south of St. Mihiel salient and back. No other Boche dared to show their tiny face.
They've arrived over Sivry at the right moment. Two Fokkers were in the process of taking off. Gaston pounced on them while Delbee and Medeville took care of the aerodrome. The first Eindecker was hit and Gaston saw the pilot slump in the cockpit. The monoplane rolled over and crashed at the far end of the field. The other Boche turned back and was met with a barrage of bullets resulting in a fireball hitting the near end of the field. Now two columns of smoke marked where the aerodrome started and ended. It was time to turn back. They were all low on ammunition. S. Ltn. Medeville received all the attention of the angry Flak and was brought down behind the lines. Upon landing, Gaston was shocked to hear of his demise. They will all miss his eccentric humor. Who will keep the machines flying while their owners are recovering in hospital? This man always took the opportunity to fly another man’s aeroplane. No more.
"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."