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PC28.01.22   Peard

INVENTORY OF PC-DOCS, JANUARY—JUNE 1928

28.01.04 BROWN
28.01.04 BROWN
28.01.04 HUNT
28.01.05 KILCOURSE
28.01.08 SATTERFIELD
28.01.08 WADBROOK
28.01.21 SHAW
28.01.22 PEARD
28.01.31 KENYON
28.02.03 PEARD
28.02.04 MCDONALD
28.02.06 YOUNG
28.02.12 WATERMAN
28.02.18 GEYER
28.02.19 CLARK
28.02.19 GRAY
28.02.21 ORR
28.02.22 SHIEBLER
28.02.23 WELLS
28.02.24 SHIEBLER
28.02.24 ROCKEY
28.02.25 BROWN
28.02.26 CLARK
28.02.26 HOLMES
28.02.26 RIDDERHOF
28.02.27 GEYER
28.02.28 HUNTER
28.02.29 CLAUDE
28.02.29 CRONMILLER
28.03.01 O'DAY
28.03.05 MCNULTY
28.03.05 ROCKEY
28.03.11 AIKEN
28.03.15 CHAPPELL
28.03.16 ARTHUR
28.03.18 RIDDERHOF
28.03.22 ROCKEY
28.03.28 HUNTER
28.03.28 GEYER
28.04.05 ATKINSON
28.04.05 HART
28.04.05 ROBERTS
28.04.05 ROCKEY
28.04.08 HOLMES
28.04.09 PUTNAM
28.04.11 PUTNAM
28.04.11 SNEAD
28.04.15 HATFIELD
28.04.16 STOCKS
28.04.17 AIKEN
28.04.18 GALT
28.04.19 ESAU
28.04.19 MARSHALL
28.04.19 SNEAD
28.04.23 GALT
28.04.23 WILLIS
28.04.23 MCQUEEN
28.04.26 PEFLEY
28.04.28 MCQUEEN
28.04.30 ARNETT
28.05.06 HART
28.05.07 MERRITT
28.05.08 AIKEN
28.05.08 CLARK
28.05.09 KILCOURSE
28.05.11 AIKEN
28.05.11 ESAU
28.05.12 KILCOURSE
28.05.12 PEFLEY
28.05.14 HOLMES
28.05.16 CLAUDE
28.05.16 CRAMER
28.05.17 RIDDERHOF
28.05.17 ADAMS
28.05.18 SCHIEBLER
28.05.20 O'DAY
28.05.21 JENKINS
28.05.21 KENYON
28.05.22 CRAMER
28.05.24 CLAUDE
28.05.24 CRAMER
28.05.25 PIPER
28.05.25 PIPER
28.05.25 UNKNOWN
28.05.30 HATFIELD
28.06.01 SCOTT
28.06.04 HOLMES
28.06.04 O'NEIL
28.06.04 SNEDEKER
28.06.06 YOUNG
28.06.15 BROWN
28.06.16 ANDERSON
28.06.19 BERRY
28.06.20 HUMPHREY
28.06.20 ROCKEY
28.06.24 CRAMER

28.01.22.   Peard, Special Expeditionary Force Patrol Report

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 Commanding Officer 16th Co., Special Expeditionary Force,
Third Battalion, San Albino, Nicaragua.  22 January 1928

From: Captain R. W. Peard, Guardia Nacional, Patrol Commander, Las Cruces Patrol.
To: The Commanding Officer, Fifth Regiment, Managua, Nic.
Via: The Commanding Officer, San Albino, Nicaragua.
Subject: Patrol Report.
Reference: (a) Your radio 8619-1230.

     1.   At 1000 January 20, 1928, the undersigned left SAN ALBINO with a combat patrol of 80 enlisted marines, as per orders contained in reference (a). This patrol consisted of all available men of the 16th Co., Special Expeditionary Force, 3rd Bn., with 2 Browning Machine Gun squads and one trench mortar squad attached, 37 animals and 3 days rations were taken.
 
    2.   The patrol arrived at the northern base of LAS CRUCES mountains and camped for the night at 1700 near Plan Grande. During the night, lines of moving lights along our flanks, indicated that bandits were converging troops on our front around LAS CRUCES, but no bandits were seen or encountered during the first day.
 
    3.   FIRST CONTACT: At 0830 on January 21, 1928, just as our pack train was about loaded and ready for the days march, a heavy rifle and machine gun fire from concealed bandit forces, estimated at not less than 50 rifles and 1 machine gun, opened up on us from the hillside across a deep, densely wooded canyon, at a range of from 1500 to 2000 yards. The range was so great that they could not hope to deliver accurate fire with rifles, but many hits in and around our position were made. The bandits waited to commence this attack until they felt assured that our machine guns had been packed on mules ready to move out. As a matter of fact, both of our machine guns were in position and manned, in good positions, at each end of the camp. Our machine guns returned the fire instantly, combing the ridge lines to the west, but I soon stopped their fire and withheld all other fire, as the range was too great for rifle fire and no enemy targets could be seen, not even smoke puffs from their rifle or machine gun fire be visible with field glasses. The bandit fire continued all along our right flank for about thirty minutes, with many of their shots going over hour heads. The bandits expended several thousand rounds of ammunition in rifle fire alone. About 0900, upon signal of a dynamite bomb, from LAS CRUCES, to our front, this fire stopped, and bandits retired amid repeated shouts of "VIVA CHAMORRA" [Chamorro]. The deep heavily wooded canyon between us and the bandits position prohibited us from doing anything except taking secure positions and letting them waste their ammunition. It appeared to me, that the firing from our right flank, was probably planned to detract our attention in that direction, while another bandit force moved into position to ambush us at LAS CRUCES. We remained in position at Plan Grande until 1000 waiting for "Letter of Instructions", which was due by plane. This letter was never received until my return to SAN ALBINO today. At 1005, no planes having arrived, I gave orders to move out for BUENA VISTA via LAS CRUCES, as the road to BUENA VISTA turns to the south west at the top of LAS CRUCES mountain, within 50 yards of the bandits favorite ambush position, where Richal's column was ambushed, and where an ambush of my QUILALI column was broken up by aeroplanes and trench mortar fire when we were enroute to SAN ALBINO.
 
    4.   SECOND CONTACT: About half way up LAS CRUCES mountain and about half a mile from the summit, our advance routed out an ambush of about 15 rifles, on the DOWN HILL side of the trail. These bandits were smoked out by protective fire from automatic weapons along flanks of wooded trail. This was the first bandit ambush that has come to my attention in which their dispositions were made on the down hill side. I immediately put our trench mortar into action, covering LAS CRUCES as far up as [ p. 2 ] possible, then raked the balance with machine gun fire. One dead bandit was found and two wounded were seen being carried off by machette men.
 
    5.   THIRD CONTACT: We continued on up LAS CRUCES mountain with caution and had about reached the top, when a machine gun opened up on us from a knoll, about 1200 yards to the west, in the direction of BUENA VISTA. We at once silenced this gun by well directed machine gun fire, and continued our advance on BUENA VISTA.
 
    6.   The road at LAS CRUCES continues straight ahead to QUILALI, turns sharply to the right for BUENA VISTA, and another fork turns to the left there along SAPOTILLAL RIDGE. This ridge is about 5 miles long and runs north-east into the northern end of CHIPOTE and SAPOTILLAL RIDGE at this northern end. CHIPOTE itself runs almost due north and south. It is believed that the bandits were fully convinced, that my patrol was on the way back to QUILALI; that the bandit force fire encountered on LAS CRUCES withdrew along the road to QUILALI to ambush us again, and that the gang originally on our right flank at Plan Grande, withdrew towards BUENA VISTA, thinking their days work was over. Our march towards BUENA VISTA was conducted in absolute silence, and the nature of the terrain concealed our movements fairly well.
 
    7.   FOURTH CONTACT: At 1530, when about 500 yards from entrance to BUENA VISTA, Lieutenant W. S. Brown, at head of the point of our advance guard, was challenged by a bandit sentry. This convinced me, that our approach had been a complete surprise, as otherwise no challenging would have been resorted to by these bandits. Lieutenant Brown's answered this sentry's challenge by shouting "Amigos" and concealing himself on the side of the trail until balance of advance guard had caught up, at which time he rose up and shot the sentry in his tracks. A general fire fight ensued for about ten minutes. It is estimated that the bandits had about 30 rifles in this fight. As soon as I was able to get our trench mortar into action the bandits dispersed into a ravine on our left flank, where they were assisted in their flight by a shower of hand grenades from all along our line. Four dead bandits were found and several wounded men were believed to have been carried away by machette men, as tracks were found in several places indicating that bodies had been dragged off the trail. Due to the danger of shooting our own troops, it was no [not] considered advisable to leave the trail for any great distance in order to check up on casualties. One rifle was captured, several rounds of dum-dumed bullets, and also ten rounds of loaded cartridges of Mexican manufacture was found on the trail, which had been snapped but had failed to fire. It is believed we caught up with the rear guard of the force withdrawing leisurely to BUENA VISTA, the same which had an earlier contact with our right flank.
 
    8.   We entered BUENA VISTA without further incident, found the place deserted, but with evidence, that it had been recently occupied by at least 50 people. BUENA VISTA consisted of six houses, three of which were large and well constructed of lumber with shingled roofs; all houses were bunched within an area of about one city block. Two springs of excellent cool and clear water were found within 100 yards of one house. All houses were plentifully supplied with corn, eggs, tortillas still warm in the kitchens, large pots of beans still cooking on the stoves, much cattle, many hogs, chickens, turnkeys, salt, and sugar. The houses were well furnished with beds, tables, chairs, and cooking arrangements. At 1630 the planes came over and delivered orders from the Brigade Commander for my patrol to "return to SAN ALBINO tomorrow". I had intended to continue south next day and clean out San Lucas and San Juan, and then report to TELPANECA for rations, returning to SAN ALBINO via Ciudad Antigua and San Fernando. [ p. 3 ]
 
    9.   At 0830 January 22, 1928, we commenced our return trip via same route taken on our way out, first destroying all bandit supplies at BUENA VISTA we were unable to take along. Between BUENA VISTA and Plan Grande we found three fresh graves, that were not there the day before.
 
    10.   FIFTH CONTACT: At 1030 January 22, 1928, when we were about half way between BUENA VISTA and LAS CRUCES, our advance guard flushed another ambush of about 25 rifles from a knoll near the trail on our left flank. Lt. Clark, who had the advance guard for the return trip shot and killed one bandit, whose body was recovered, and two other wounded bandits were seen being carried off by machette men. Trench mortars and automatic weapon fire completely routed this ambush, and we proceeded on to SAN ALBINO, by forced march, as per orders "to return to SAN ALBINO tomorrow" as received by plane on January 21, 1928. We arrived at SAN ALBINO at 1700 today.
 
    11.   BANDIT PROPERTY AND SUPPLIES CAPTURED, ALL CONTACTS: One Remington 46-70 rifle; two Krag 30 caliber rifles #369981 & 225551, Springfield Armory 1898; one good riding mule; two good saddles; two good horses; one mule branded USMC and US, believed to have been lost by Richal's column; ten aparejos complete; 55 chickens; 16 leather bags for pack saddles loads; 2 turkeys; numerous hogs and cattle 50 pounds of salt and several hundred pounds of native brown sugar.
 
    12.   No planes were present during any of our contacts; planes arrived between the second and third contact and after the fourth, when we were already in BUENA VISTA. They also arrived today after our fifth contact, when we were passing down the northern slope of LAS CRUCES. These last planes covered territory to our front, and materially assisted in expediting our return to SAN ALBINO.
 
    13.   The conduct of all personnel under fire was very good; the work of Lts. Brown and Clark as advance guard commanders, was excellent; the machine gun crews and trench mortar squad went into action in excellent manner and placed their fire where directed, exceptionally well. Due to nature of terrain and trails, the advance guard, main body and rear guard, marched in single file with our distance, as few places on trail covered, permitted an enemy fire at any one time on more than 10 men, even when command was well closed up. Distance between elements of the command would only have increased their vulnerability. One machine gun, and one trench mortar was attached to the advance guard which was composed of two infantry squads; one machine gun squad was attached to the rear guard, which was also composed of two infantry squads. Each infantry squad had one Thompson sub-machine gun, one Browning automatic rifle, and one rifle grenadier. The main body consisted entirely of the pack train, with one marine assigned to guard each animal.
 
    14.   The undersigned as Patrol Commander, marched with the trench mortar and machine gun of the advance guard, and personally directed all fire of these weapons. In each contact, except the first, the advance guard was the only portion of the command, which actually did any fighting; in other words two squads supported by one trench mortar and one machine gun, routed the bandits alone in each contact, except the first.
 
    15.   From above report of rifles used against us, a fairly accurate estimate of enemy encountered can be made, when it is considered that the bandits normal organization includes from three to five machette men for each rifleman; the duties of the machette men being to cheer the riflemen along, carry off the wounded, and stage a machette attack, if conditions appear to be favorable. There were no marine casualties in any of the contacts.

          /s/ R. W. PEARD

127/212/1

Summary & Notes:

   A major expedition:  80 marines, 37 animals, 3 days, south from San Albino to Las Cruces Mountain and return; goal to flush out "bandits".
   5 separate military encounters in 3 days; no substantive interactions with civilians.
   Clear military superiority of Marines over EDSN; no Marine casualties, est. 5 rebels killed, 4 wounded.
   Description of EDSN camp at Buena Vista: 6 well-built houses with furniture, stocks of food, cooking facilities, etc.
   Detailed descriptions of Marine field tactics.
   Rebels shout "Viva Chamorro!" — suggests Chamorrista-Sandinista alliance among rank-and-file.
   Rebels plentifully supplied with ammunition, though much of it wasted.

   Peard's 16th Co. gets one day of rest (Jan. 23) before heading off on a 10-day patrol through El Chipote, as seen below (PC 28.02.03 PEARD).

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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