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PC28.01.31   kenyon

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

28.01.31.   Kenyon, Report of Activities, San Albino

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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SAN ALBINO, NICARAGUA.
31 January, 1928.

From: Commanding Officer, 20th Company, Third Battalion.
To: Commanding Officer, Special Combat Expedition against El Chipote.
Subject: Report Activities 20th Co. from 19 Jan to 30 Jan inclusive.
Reference: (a) Verbal instructions Commanding Officer.
(b) Captured field order of bandit leader, Augusto Sandino, dated 20 Jan. 1928.
(c) Captured personal letter of same leader.

    1.  In accordance with the provisions of reference (a), the following report is herewith submitted:
 
       On 19 January, 1928, the 20th Company moved from San Albino to a position about five miles east by north from San Albino and south east of the position occupied by the 45th Company. Four days rations were carried by mule train. The verbal instructions at the time were to occupy successive secure positions directly in the line of approach to El Chipote. Aerial reconnaissance of same date reported El Chipote abandoned. On the morning of January 20th, I left my company Headquarters with a Reconnaissance patrol of five squads to verify the report of the air force of day before. Due to lack of knowledge of trails my patrol went to left of direct trail and approached the heights of Santa Rosa from the road leading to Jicaro. We proceeded at a good rate of march and placed rifle grenades in places in road that looked favorable for ambush. At about 12 noon we were in the open places on the heights proceeding up hill on the side of a sharp ridge that was well cleared off. I was walking abreast with Gunnery Sergeant Brooks ahead of the point when fire broke out from concealed places on the crest from what sounded like one machine gun and a section or platoon of rifle at a range between two hundred and three hundred yards. The members of the advance party immediately took cover as was available on the slope. All rifle fire was held up by my orders until the enemy could be seen. All rifle grenades were placed in firing range of the machine gun nest and automatic rifles trained on the areas where smoke was spitting. The bandits held their fire for about twenty minutes. The rifle grenadier beside me was shot through the fleshy part of both buttocks with flank fire. When the enemy began to thin all Marines were ordered to pursue. Only a few of the retreating men were seen jumping into the brush as they fled from their position. No dead or wounded were found. Due to the cliff like sides of the knife ridge where that skirmish occurred, it would be easy for wounded to escape detection or dead to be concealed. The plane observers two days later reported vultures eating four bodies near the location of the contact. A prisoner captured in El Chipote reported three killed and five wounded including Maradriaga [Maradiaga] who ambushed Lieut. Richal's column and Captain Livingston at Quilali. The sharp cries of the enemy and thirty or forty well directed grenades and automatic fire followed by his complete and immediate rout indicated to me that someone had been hit. The enemy officers in the engagement were General Montaya [Carlos Montoya] and Colonel Maradriaga [Colonel Fernando Maradiaga] whose orders from Sandino were typed that day and captured along with considerable native ration and some person equip- [ p. 2 ] ment and a letter in the handwriting of Sandino. All letters herein mentioned and included in references have been forwarded to Brigade Headquarters. The conduct of the Marines under fire was excellent throughout. Special recommendations are included in a latter part of this report. Our column pursued into and beyond Santa Rosa and stayed there for the night while the wounded man was returned and preparation made to bring up the company train at daybreak. On January 21st the company train was moved up and the outguards occupied the low ridge encircling Chipote. On January 22nd, the ration was exhausted and the command subsisted on forage with the exception of sugar and a limited amount of coffee and hardtack from then until returning to San Albino. There was ample native coffee, beef, beans, and fruit. On the same day the Commanding Officer of the Expedition arrived and accompanied a ration foraging party on the base of Chipote. Two bombs were fired from the heights above followed by one or two rifle shots but all was beyond range. On January 23rd, I extended my line of outguards in the forenoon to observe roads and river crossings leading to Chipote. In the afternoon, in company with the Battalion Commander, the 20th Company crossed the Murra River and occupied an enemy storehouse, filled with provisions, on the base of Chipote and left an observation group in a house on the other side to remain until quartering and messing arrangements were completed. The outpost was fired upon by snipers at approximately five hundred yards. Private Hagerman of the observation group was shot in the hand and Private Ingles, leading the ration party back to the observation post, was shot through the forearm. The observation group and ration party were withdrawn and the entire company quartered near and in the storehouse for the night. Several scattered rifle shots were fired during the late afternoon by the enemy and a few bombs exploded but none near the company position. I had my company train move up just at dark. Fox holes were dug on the steep slopes and all men made as secure as possible from sniping during the night. On January 24th, one section of the 8th machine gun company arrived at about 10 A.M., in command of Lieut. Clark. The day was spent in reconnaissance and making preparations to move toward the position known as the main fort. In the late afternoon and early evening a reconnaissance patrol accompanied by the Battalion Commander moved up the mountain and destroyed an enemy observation post with a large supply of corn after the position had been bombed by the stokes mortar. It was freshly abandoned. The 45th Company and 8th Machine gun Company proceeded in combat formation on the left side of the Murra River toward the fort. The 45th Company moved along the right bank as far as the road lasted. An entrenched and scantily fortified position one mile below the fort was found abandoned with evidence of fresh occupancy after rifle grenading. The fort was bombed with the mortar and found abandoned at 1 P.M. The machine gun saddle and many other saddles and odd pieces of American equipment taken from the two ambushes near Quilali were found in the fort along with a considerable amount of 1927 issue expended 30-30 ammunition and pieces of flying machine tools. A large number of native saddles were taken and many bull hides used for shelter tents. I returned to our last position with a part of the command and brought up the company train. The Battalion Commander established his headquarters in the fort that [ p. 3 ] night. On January 26th, a combat patrol of the 20th Company accompanied by the mortar and Machine Gun in company with the Battalion Commander pushed completely to the top. Various barricaded buildings and two large hastily constructed buildings were found freshly abandoned. A freshly butchered beef was found hanging near the house said to have been the headquarters of Gen. Salgado and a chicken still limp and undressed was on the floor of the quarters near the fireplace. When the column reached the top of the cleared area at the barracks, a camp smoke was seen in the thickly wooded area above. A light rain was then falling. The mortar was trained on the camp fire. The rain ended abruptly and the column penetrated the highest wooded positions of El Chipote to find what could safely be estimated as the tracks of fifty or more men leaving the bombed area in all directions. The tracks were fresh on the rain-wet leaves. An outpost was left at the barracks overnight to watch for enemy stragglers. It consisted of the machine gun, the mortar and two squads of infantry. Lieut. Clark caught one straggler who was turned over to Lieut. McDonald of the Guardia in the evening to lead him to what was said to be the private quarters of Sandino. (See report of McDonald) The 45th Company and Guardia Company arrived at the fort during the day. On January 27th, I made a reconnaissance of the valley area and completed the complete destruction of every enemy storeroom in the immediate area and captured five mules and five horses from a pasture said by muleros to be that of Sandino. Preparations were made to move toward Quilali the following morning. The 45th Company returned to our last camp and Guardia left on special patrol. On January 28th, the entire company and train accompanied by the Battalion Commander proceeded to Quilali where it camped for the night and found the landing field dug with pits to wreck incoming planes. The pits were filled. On January 29th, the company and train proceeded in the direction of San Juan with slow progress due to no guides and bad trails. A camp was made for the night on a height near Teosintal Creek about five miles above Quilali. At night went on a special patrol to run down a bandit rumor. Took three squads. Left at 12 M and returned at 8:30 A.M. following day. The patrol was accompanied by Lieut. Clark and the Battalion Commander. No results. On January 30th, broke camp after noon meal and was proceeding to San Juan when planes dropped message and course was directed toward San Albino. Arrived San Albino in excellent condition relative to personnel and materiel at 10 P.M. Left Chipote first camp with twenty pack animals returned with thirty eight.

    2.    Recommendations:
   It is recommended that Private H. O. Nation, be commended for his conduct under fire. As a rifle grenadier he held his advance position in the point and delivered the grenades on the enemy machine gun nest. He suffered temporary interruption from the near explosion of an enemy bomb and was wounded by enemy machine gun fire. He continued firing on the enemy gun until it was out of action and pursued the retreating enemy with rifle fire after he, Private H. O. Nation had been seriously wounded and had lost a considerable amount of blood in spite of orders from Company Commander to fall back to the rear. Private Nation refused to be carried to San Albino and walked over four miles before he could be placed on a mule for the hospital. [ p. 4 ]
 
   It is recommended that Gunnery Sergeant Brooks be commended for personally rallying and leading the advance party in pursuit of the enemy when the enemy fire began to weaken and for displaying a high example of personal courage in combat.
 
   It is recommended that Sergeant Floyd be commended for directing the fire of the automatic weapons of the main body of the patrol in constantly exposed positions with effective destruction on the parties in ambush.
 
    3.    Comments:
    I do not believe from what I have actually seen of Sandino's position that he has ever had a force of more than two hundred and fifty men at any time. There is no indication that his force is mounted or ever was. Possibly forty or fifty may have been at times. There is no indication from the trails leading to and from Chipote that he left his position in a body. He cannot subsist on Chipote after we left it. Neither has he quarters there now. I have never heard any reliable report from anyone who has seen or counted the actual command of Sandino. I believe that his force is broken into very small groups that may continue to operate for several months. His letter head dated 20 January was from Chipote. Since that date no large body has left Chipote unless by careful filtration.

                   /s/ Howard N. Kenyon

127/220/2

Summary & Notes:

   The first ground patrol to see and occupy El Chipote; detailed description of EDSN camp, occupancy, fortifications; Sandino & army evacuate camp only days before Marines arrive, after several weeks of aerial assaults.
   A big, long, complex operation; no numbers but probably 100 Marines, muleros, guides; 12 days in the field; integration with aerial support.
   Same Lt. Kenyon who reported so thoroughly on the Somotillo district,
PC-DOC 27.09.20.
   See Air Service patrol & combat reports on El Chipote operation,
AIR WAR 28.01.17.
   EDSN documents captured here:
EDSN-DOC 28.01.20 Sandino to Montoya, Galeano, Maradiaga
   Estimate of 250 EDSN on this part of El Chipote probably accurate; no single rebel camp seems to able to accommodate more than 250-300 men.
   Jan. 20:  patrol's only combat. Marines scatter attackers after 20 minutes.  Estimated 3 EDSN killed, 5 wounded.

   One Marine wounded (Pvt. Henry O. Nation).
   Jan. 23:  two Marines wounded by sniper fire (Pvts. Nicholas B. Hagerman & Ben E. Ingles).
   EDSN harassing actions:  digging holes on Quilalí airfield.
   EDSN avoiding direct contact with stronger and more heavily armed Marines.

   Boldface dates not in original (my emphasis).

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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