Gaston just knew this morning will be different when he lead Japy and Garrigou on a patrol over enemy camp SE of Sivry-sur-Meuse. High above the front they’ve encountered a pair of two-seaters. The powerful engine brought them in range in no time. The new scout could climb like a monkey. Gaston opened fire and brought the Aviatik down. He left the rest of his flight to deal with the other Boche. He was already in pursuit of a trio of Fokkers escorting another two-seater further along the front lines. Again, his new plane brought him near his enemy quicker than ever, but that was it. The agility of the Bebe Gaston expected was nowhere to be found. He was struggling to stay up in the air in a turn. The heavy machine stalled with each bank. Suddenly the venerable Eindecker has become a dangerous foe. This plane was not a monkey, it was a pig! A pig with a heavy snout. It was only by luck that Gaston was able to stay out of the Spandau's range. He finally isolated one of the Fokkers as the other two nearly collided and filled it full of holes. Voscadeaux was sure the Eindecker was heavily damaged, but couldn't finish the job, as the other two Fokkers were right behind him. Another few clumsy turns and he saw his pursuers connect. This was his opportunity, he got on the tail of one of them and fired. The pilot slumped in the cockpit and the machine went straight down. He looked around and saw the last of the Fokkers gliding. Voscadeaux climbed on his tail and fired, but missed. The speed was too great. He came around for another pass and saw the Boche's prop start to windmill. He had only one more chance for attack before his target would be too low to continue, especially when flying this pig. He aimed and fired. The rounds connected, but didn't do enough damage. Gaston watched the Eindecker float down onto a stretch of flat land and stop. The Hun was safe on his side of the mud. Voscadeaux had to rethink his fighting strategy. This new plane was a handful. He needed to get used to it. Japy and Garrigou claimed a two-seater each. Overall it was a successful mission but Gaston’s luck could run out at any time.
The line patrol took the ‘B’ flight west of Bechamps this afternoon. There was no contact ... except one. The machine was visible from far away. It was instantly recognizable. The Great Navarre was returning from his hunt. Gaston pulled alongside and gave the French Ace a most hearty salute. He could see the smile on Navarre’s weary face. The Sentinel of Verdun returned the salute and the two airplanes parted ways.
"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."