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PC27.12.06   PeARd Et Al.

INVENTORY OF PC-DOCS, THRU 1927

24.02.18 BOURKE
24,03,24 BIRNBAUMER
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27.07.16 HATFIELD
27.07.20 HATFIELD
27.07.28 HATFIELD
27.08.12 FLOYD
27.08.18 BRUCE
27.09.04 O'SHEA
27.09.05 MCQUADE
27.09.08 CHAPPELL
27.09.20 KENYON
27.09.22 PEARD
27.10.12 O'SHEA
27.10.18 SATTERFIELD
27.11.02 CHAPPELL
27.11.02 GOULD
27.11.06 PEARD
27.11.07 BELLINGER
27.11.10 KEIMLING
27.11.11 BROWN
27.11.12 HARBAUGH
27.11.13 CRUM
27.11.14 DARNELL
27.11.19 WELLS
27.11.20 BELLINGER
27.11.26 KEIMLING
27.12.06 PEARD
27.12.07 BROWN
27.12.11 BROWN
27.12.11 KEIMLING
27.12.11 HARBAUGH
27.12.15 BROWN
27.12.17 CRONMILLER
27.12.18 MARTIN
27.12.19 WELLS
27.12.31 GOULD

27.12.06.   Peard, Smith, & Waterman: Reports on Bandit Contact at Sabana Grande near El Jícaro

P C - D O C S :      P A T R O L   &   C O M B A T    R E P O R T S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +

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OFFICE OF THE DIVISION COMMANDER
DIVISION OF NUEVA SEGOVIA
OCOTAL, NICARAGUA.
6 December 1927.

From: The Division Commander.
To: The Brigade Commander, Managua.
Subject: Bandit contact on 5 Dec 1927, between Jicaro patrol and bandit group near Sabana Grande.

   1.    The following preliminary report has been compiled from messages received to date from San Fernando and Jicaro, but is not intended to replace written report of patrol commander from Jicaro which will be forwarded as soon as possible.
 
   2.    At 0700 5 Dec. Lieut. Boyle, nineteen marines, one guardia enlisted, one navy enlisted and eleven bullcarts cleared San Fernando for Jicaro. At 0800, a patrol of ten marines and ten guardia in charge Sgt. Smith cleared Jicaro to meet bullcart train from San Fernando.
 
   3.    At 1110 on 5 Dec., before this Jicaro patrol had made a junction with Boyles column, they were surrounded and attacked by bandit group of about one hundred, near Sabana Grande. They fought their way thru and joined the bull-cart train. Cabo Marco Antonio Fonseca, G.N., number 39, was killed, body had to be abandoned but was recovered today and buried by bull cart guard enroute to Jicaro at about 1200.
 
   4.    Jicaro patrol reports thirty bandit casualties including two Jefes, one of whom was speaking English throughout the attack. One BAR [Browning Automatic Rifle] was captured by bandits but the trigger guard was removed before it was lost, and same was buried. No reason for loss of this BAR is yet known.
 
   5.    Raso Valentin Galeano, G.N. #5, who was originally reported as killed in action, reported in to Jicaro today unharmed.
 
   6.    McDonald sent additional patrol up and joined Boyle at 0700 today and accompanied bullcarts to within seven miles of Jicaro, when it returned and is safely back in San Fernando.
 
   7.    No other known casualties.

 - - - - - - - - - - R. W. PEARD - - - - - - -

127/43A/3


MARINE DETACHMENT
JICARO, NICARAGUA.
7 December, 1927.

For the Division Commander.
 
The following is a report of an engagement with the bandit forces.
 
On December 5th, I received verbal orders from Lt. Waterman to proceed with ten marines and ten Guardia to meet the bull cart train coming from San Fernando. About 200 yards past San Pedro ranch we were attacked by a force of approximately 200. They allowed the point to pass and hitting us first in the rear. We were then surrounded on all sides, as we were in a valley. The firing came from three hills on our front and sides. One Guardia was killed in the road at first. We were in a rather open place in the shape of a V. Four rifles went bad and one automatic rifle jammed which weakened us considerable. We fought there for 1 hour and 25 minutes. We were then forced to leave. We broke thru the lines and took a hill for position. The fighting started at 11:10 a.m. and ended at 12:35 p.m. We estimate their casualties at 30 killed. We could not return for the dead Guardia and had to go on and meet the train. On our return we buried the Guardia. Our only casualty was one killed.

Fred G. Smith.
Sgt., U.S.M.C.


MARINE DETACHMENT
JICARO, NICARAGUA 7 December, 1927.

From: The Commanding Officer.
To: The Commanding Officer, 2nd Brigade, Managua, Nicaragua.
Via: Official Channels.
Subject: Report of contact between the bandit forces of Sandino and a patrol from this post.
Enclosure: Report of Sgt. Smith in charge of patrol.

   1.    On the morning of 5 December, 1927, I sent a patrol of ten Marines and ten Guardia in charge of Sgt. Smith to meet a bull cart train coming from Ocotal.
 
   2.    This patrol was attacked by a band of bandits at 11:10 a.m. The bandits were reported to me as being led by Sandino himself. The natives that reported it to me said that there were about 240 bandits present. One of the Jefes spoke English very well and continually used all kinds of expressions to say what he thought of Marines. However this Jefe kept very well out of sight. The bandits wore brown clothing and it kept was difficult to distinguish them from their surroundings. They were all well armed with rifles and dynamite bombs.
 
   3.    Private M. Brown was firing a Browning Automatic Rifle but it became jammed and he was unable to put it back into operation. He removed the trigger group, laid down his rifle and picked up the rifle of the dead Guardia which he had during the rest of the fighting. Having moved around considerably during the fighting he was not near his rifle and could not return to it after the fighting was over. His belt was on the ground near his rifle. Pvt. Brown buried his trigger group.

   4.    The following men were members of this patrol

Sgt. F. G. Smith    Cpl. Largaspado, Pompilio #157
Pvt. M. Brown       Pvt. Gutierrez, Victor M. #128
" K. W. Coffman     " Marcos, Fonseca #39
" W. C. Hunt        " Arguilero, Arnulfo #121
" R. E. Johnson     " Francisco, Sandoval #396
" B. M. Lanier      " Antonio, Gadea #407
" W. L. McDaniels   " Galeano, Valentino #5
" E. R. Richards    " Andres, C. Chavarria #338
" R. L. Waldie    " Juan Davila S. #388
" R. N. Wilson    " Exequiel Cuadra #2

H. C. WATERMAN
2nd Lieut. USMC
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

127/113C/12


MARINE DETACHMENT, JICARO, NICARAGUA
23 December 1927.

From: Sgt. F. G. Smith, U.S.M.C.
To: The Commanding Officer
Subject: Report of contact between a patrol from Jicaro under my charge and bandits on 5 December 1927.

   1.    On 5 December, 1927, I received verbal orders from Lt. Waterman to take charge of a patrol of 10 marines and 10 Guardias and proceed by the road to Ocotal to meet the bull cart train coming from San Fernando.
 
   2.    We cleared Jicaro at 0805 and passed thru SUSU CAYAN at 1000. We had just passed a ranch called San Pedro at 1040 when we heard a bomb explode. Very soon after this a guardia fired a shot at a man he saw in the underbrush. Immediately after this a bomb was thrown in the road in front of us and everybody took cover except one guardia who was killed.
 
   3.    This guardia's name was Raso Marcos Fonseca #39. After the others had taken [cover] he remained standing in the road and was immediately killed by a bullet thru his chest from rifle fire of the bandits that commenced immediately after the explosion of the second bomb.
 
   4.    The Marines and Guardia took advantage of what little cover was available. We were in a position in the shape of a V and were being fired on from two hills and a valley. It is estimated that about 40 bandits made the first attack but they were soon reenforced and the began to close in from all sides. We drove them out of the valley, by which they were endeavoring to get closer to us, by rifle grenades. The guardia were driven back from their position, but soon held the bandits in check. The fighting lasted in this place for about one hour and twenty five minutes, the bandits throwing a lot of dynamite bombs as well as firing their rifles. We decided to fight our way to a hill so rushed one in our rear. We gained this and the enemy withdrew, not attacking anymore.
 
   5.    In the first part of the battle Pvt M. Brown's B.A.R. failed to extract and the empty cartridge could not be taken from the chamber. He therefor put his B.A.R. and belt on the ground removing the trigger group and crawled over to the dead guardia to get his rifle. Pvt Brown buried his trigger group. The bolt of one Springfield broke near the end, another failed to extract, and two others were put out of commission by projectiles becoming lodged in the barrel due to faulty powder. All of this happened in the first part of the fighting.
 
   6.    After the fighting was over Raso Valentin Galeno [Valentín Galeano] #5 could not be found. He later reported back to Jicaro.
 
   7.    The bandits were all similarly dressed, wearing brown uniforms which afforded them excellent concealment in the underbrush. They seemed to be well armed with rifles and had a great many dynamite bombs which they threw often but which had no effect on our men. One of their leaders spoke English very clearly and could be heard to curse the Marines at different times saying "Kill those damn marines". I estimate that they had about 200 men. We know of 8 that were killed and saw several of our rifle grenades explode right where there were others so estimate about 30 bandits killed.
 
   8.    The Marines and Guardia on this patrol fought well and were calm during the entire fight. The guardia were inclined to fire too much at random but they all fought well. Discipline was excellent.
 
          /s/ Fred G. Smith

127/212/1

Summary & Notes:

   Fascinating reports -- the first from Capt. Peard, who compiles a preliminary report from brief field messages from Lt. Boyle & Sgt. Smith:  total of 41 Marines & Guardia (Smith's 10 Marines & 10 Guardia combined with Boyle's 19 Marines, 1 Navy & 1 Guardia) attacked by 100 EDSN, who at this point dominate the entire zone around El Jícaro.  Marines-Guardia outnumbered, outmaneuvered, outgunned.

   Peard's report followed by Sgt. Fred Smith and Lt. H. C. Waterman's reports of Dec. 7.  Then Smith submits a more detailed report on Dec. 23.  Smith guesses 200 rebels, Waterman 240.  The Jefe who "spoke English very well" is especially intriguing — who is he?

   One Browning Automatic Rifle lost to rebels.

   Thirty rebel casualties seems exaggerated.

   Rebels all wearing brown uniforms; well armed, ample dynamite bombs (no effect).

   Care taken by the Marines in recovering the body of the dead Guardia soldier Antonio Fonseca, no. 39; effort to gain & retain loyalty of native Guardia.  Remarkable that Marines & Guardia able to extract themselves with only one GN killed.

P C - D O C S :      P A T R O L   &   C O M B A T    R E P O R T S
thru 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 +

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