Violette's wing has finally been repaired and the Fokker responsible for the damage has also been added to Gaston's tally. The wing would still have to be painted to restore Violette to its full glory. Today’s task was to meet up with Caudrons of Esc 11 and escort them on a reccy mission of the front lines near Arras. The ‘A’ flight would assist with the escort duties. They've met up with the bombers and arrived over the recon area right on time. Gaston could see in the distance the ‘A’ flight chasing some specks. The Caudrons were making their second pass when Gaston noticed Archie bursts ahead, right over the NML. They’ve approached the bogies. It was a pair of Aviatiks. One of them turned around and went straight east. The other one felt more adventurous and held his ground. It didn't take long for Gaston to come around and get on his tail. He opened fire and was greeted by return fire. He ducked under the two-seater and came around. He fired again, but with no result. His wingmen engaged the Aviatik as well by now and Gaston made another pass. There was some smoke and Voscadeaux thought he finally had him, but his Lewis ran dry and he had to abandon his target. To make matters worse his fuel tank had been punctured and he was losing petrol fast. He was in the middle of the NML when his tank was empty. His location was close to Arras, or what he thought was the city ahead of him. He knew he had enough altitude to clear the trenches, but will need to scramble to find a suitable place to put down. He picked a green field with little trees at the end in case he overshoots. An observation balloon went by. Then a herd of cows and he was finally back on the ground. As luck would have it, he stopped just beside a road. He was quickly picked up and driven back to base. His airplane would follow the next day. He would have to fly a loaner in the afternoon again.
Orders came in to patrol friendly front lines near Marchélepot. Only the ‘B’ flight would go up this time. Too many planes were scattered all over the front to assemble two flights. Even Gaston was flying a loaned machine until Violette could be recovered. The patrol was uneventful. It appears the Germans were faced with similar logistical problems.
"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."