Henri Patois
Verdun
April 30, 1917
Escadrille3 No. 23

It's been three days that I've been grounded with a shoulder wound. They say I can go back up in a few more. Apparently my lucky dice held, for if the wound was a few inches over, it would have been the heart or lungs! Painful still, and to think we were only patrolling our side of the lines! We went up to about 3500 meters and began looking for trouble. I saw it in a flight of Huns off to the south. Turning towards them, we were overpassed by a flight of German recce craft. We drove at the recon craft and split them apart with our pass. The rest of my flight stalled the escorts while I continued the attack. I closed on one a/c and fired from such a close range that I saw the observer slump over in his seat, wounded or dead. I must have got the pilot with the same burst, for the entire craft spiraled down and was seen to crash far below. Moving on to the second Hun, I fired and fired until his engine died. He thought he would just coast across the lines and be safe! Having none of that, I pursued my attack. As I closed and fired, I hoped for a repeat of my first victory. It was not to be as I felt a burning sensation in my left shoulder that jerked me back in my seat. Properly chastised, and with minimal cursing, I retired from the field, maybe to meet again in some future engagement!