It started like any other day. A simple patrol, this time just south of Arras. The sky was clear with low hanging morning haze beneath. The ‘A’ flight followed Gaston, weaving from side to side. They were approaching the patrol area and Voscadeaux continued to observe the other flight for any signs of trouble. He was sure it will be just another uneventful mission. He looked to his left, there they were, the ‘A’ flight. He looked a minute later to his right and sure as the sun setting in the western sky, there was the ‘A’ flight. Gaston thought to himself: "- These guys are having too much FOKKERS!" his musings were interrupted by a trio of Eindeckers which appeared out of nowhere. This should be no problem, there were 5 of them in the ‘B’ flight alone, plus the ‘A’ flight. "- Where the hell is the ‘A’ flight?" Gaston quickly looked to the other side. "- There they ar... Merde! More Fokkers!" They were now outnumbered and no ‘A’ flight in sight! It was an ambush and Gaston fell for it. Now he had to fight his way out. Enemy and friendly machines swirled around him. The French pilot quickly assessed the situation and determined which enemy plane was his greatest threat. There was one aiming straight for him, but his wingman was just waiting for Gaston to go after his leader. The Boche would then be in a perfect position to shoot him down. They were well coordinated. Voscadeaux was now locked in a turning flight with these two opponents. He had to be patient with his attack and wait for the enemy to make a mistake. The leader banked the other way, but his wingman didn't notice and continued his circuit. Their formation was broken and Gaston swooped down on the leader, pummeling his plane. He was sure he had him, but his wingman was now back and maneuvering on Violette's six. Gaston quickly switched his targets. He was cursing he wasn’t able to finish the leader off. He almost had him! He had to start from scratch, but it was easier now with only one enemy following him. They continued to circle each other but Gaston was gaining height at the same time and finally converted it into extra speed in dive to get on the tail of the monoplane. He saw it now. These were the new E.IV's. No wonder he had so much trouble with them. His Lewis started to chew on the Fokker. Quick bursts, just to see if the aim was true. Pieces of debris falling off the plane told him he was on target. Just one more burst. The Boche kept on going. One more burst should do it. No, the enemy was still in the air. One more. Nothing. That was it. Gaston had his 194 shots and he blew it. He had to watch as the Hun slipped away. He returned to base alone. Seems everyone else had just as little luck, but at least they’ve all survived the ambush. They will have to be more vigilant and not depend on their escort so much.
It was an interesting patrol over Bertincourt aerodrome this afternoon. The ‘A’ flight was on escort duty and kept close by, so Gaston didn’t think much of it when they came for a closer look while high over the airfield. Except it wasn’t the ‘A’ flight, but a bunch of Rolands. They attacked as they were going by and Gaston took a few hits from the gunner, but retaliated with a barrage of fire of his own before running out. Barnay and Boillot brought down a Walfisch each. Gaston's wingman, Sergent Frougier had to put down behind the enemy lines. He is presumed to have been captured. He is still on the blackboard, but nothing stays there long. It is all written in chalk for a reason.
"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."