Two confirmations this morning: the Roland from two days ago. The argument with the gunners was cleared up. And the second was yesterday’s Aviatik. The Fokker could not be confirmed. No witnesses and too far into enemy territory. Oh well. It was an early morning mission. They were up at 03:00 for a four o’clock take off. Despite the early hour, Gaston’s wingman, Sergent Berneart sat down beside Voscadeaux at the breakfast table and pulled out his family photo album. The said album would always be opened at the first page featuring Leblanc’s fat wife. Suddenly Gaston’s gruel lost all of its elusive taste. He barely listened as Berneart described one of his children. He just received another photo where the photographer placed the chubby boy behind the wheel of a toy automobile used as a prop in so many pictures. Leblanc proudly announced that this one will be a race car driver. What was the child’s name? Jacques? Gilles? No matter. Thankfully it was time to get ready for take off. Their target was the Athies airfield just across the mud. They’ve gone up to a brilliant sunrise. The villages below were asleep, or just waking up to the sound of the droning of the aero engines flying above.
They were over the enemy airfield in no time at all. The world was still at peace. The only signs of war were sporadic Flak bursts and the scarred landscape below. They’ve been circling the airfield for a while when the rising sun betrayed two of the Boche machines by reflecting its rays on the pale-blue wings. The ‘B’ flight dove and Gaston gave signal to attack. Dagonet, like a mad-man, dove on one of the enemy machines and soon after it was spiraling down, trailing a light grey column of smoke. Gaston dove for the other Hun, firing long bursts, then diving under to avoid a collision. When he turned around, the Boche was dragging behind him a black-smoke tail. Voscadeaux came about for another pass to finish the Hun off. He was concentrating so much he didn’t notice Dagonet make another mad-man dive on his left side. Gaston reacted too late.
"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."