Henri Patois Verdun April 13, 1917 Escadrille3 No. 23
It is my fault, of course. A dawn patrol, this morning. Over the lines, we were jumped by a flight of Albatros scouts swooping down from above us. How could I have missed them? My flight responded perfectly, splitting up to divide them and then turning around upon ourselves to bring them into each other's guns. Unfortunately, two of the Huns had latched onto the tail of my wingman, Sous Lieutenant Dreux. In his more fragile Nieuport, he could not dive away! I managed to chase off one of his pursuers, but it was too late, he went down smoking and burning to smash upon the broken earth below. I took down one of the enemy and almost had another before I was compelled to withdraw. I do not know if my synchronizer was damaged or malfunctioning, but my Vickers was barely firing! To fight another day, it must be then... until that time, I must write to M. and Mme. Dreux and bring the terrible news of their son to them.