Henri Patois
Verdun
June 18th, 1917
Escadrille3 No. 23

We "attempted" an airfield attack today, just over the lines. "A" flight was supposed to provide top cover while I took the rocket-equipped Nieuports to the airfield. But "A" flight didn't expect resistance until we were in enemy territory so they sailed right over the group of Albatros scouts that jumped us right over the German trenches. I saw Sgt. Francois tangling with one of the enemy, so I went over towards him, but he appeared to have things under control, so I attacked a different Albatros.

I have to say that down low, the slight maneuverability advantage of the enemy scouts is overcome by the power of the SPAD engine. It allows you to claw your way up in a turn when the Albatros is struggling to not stall and crash. Long story still long, I managed to down two enemy craft (1 confirmed) before heading to the airfield which at this point was directly northeast of me. I waited for any of the Nupes to show up (none did; unfortunately Rosseman was killed by the enemy and Francois crashed from damage, but made it home later that day) before diving in for a few passes until I had used up all of my Vickers ammo. Of course, rifle rounds did little against the depot and I had to go home with all kinds of failure in my heart, certainly not for the first time and probably not for the last...