Henri Patois Verdun May 30th, 1917 Escadrille3 No. 23
Not much of significance has happened over the last couple of weeks.. Washout missions, bad weather, no contacts, but today was different. They tried to send me back to the same old airfield we always attack, but I said "How about a different one?' They said "OK, but you are wasting your time!" So we set off across the front. As we approached the aerodrome, my wingman peeled off to stall the cover flight as I started the attack. I was so giddy on my approach that I prematurely ignited my rockets and they spun off uselessly into the ground. (Back home, the boys told me that "premature ignition" was nothing to be ashamed of...although I noticed that none of them sat with me at the bar afterwards...) As I continued with the Vickers, I soon saw why they didn't want me attacking this field: it was still equipped with Eindeckers! It was actually to our benefit to keep this base operational! The poor bastards! Of course, as these thoughts were running through my mind, I was attacked by the rest of the cover flight. I worked them pretty hard and fired on one fellow so much that his engine exploded!
I made another quick pass during which a round hit a spar near the cockpit and sent woods splinters painfully into my cheek. At that point, I headed for home!