On this day in 1918, an American pilot took off from an airstrip near Verdun. He was absent without leave from his squadron at Rembercourt and his commanding officer had issued orders for his arrest.
He flew his SPAD XIII over the German observation-balloon line near Murvaux and attacked three of them in rapid succession. Despite fierce ground fire and the efforts of enemy fighter pilots, the American shot down all three balloons. Wounded, he crashed his plane while attempting an emergency landing in a field outside the village.