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PC28.02.25   brown

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

28.02.25.   Brown, Patrol from Quilalí to San Juan de Telpaneca

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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Sixteenth Company, Fifth Regt. U.S.M.C.
Quilali, Nicaragua

25 February, 1928

From: 2nd Lieut. W. S. Brown, U.S.M.C.
To: The Commanding Officer, 16th Company
Subject: Patrol to San Juan de Telpaneca, Report on
Reference: Field Message from Col. Dunlap #1122-2140

     1.   In accordance with instructions contained in your verbal orders and reference, the undersigned cleared Quilali at 1815, February 23rd, with a patrol of twenty five men and two pack animals. The patrol reached Las Cruces at 2045; cleared at 2100; reached Buena Vista at 2300; cleared at 2330; reached San Lucas at 0045, February 24th; cleared at 0200; and reached outskirts of San Juan at 0330.
 
    2.   Las Cruces and Buena Vista were deserted. Camp fires were seen about two miles away in the direction of Las Vueltas. Two more camp fires were observed in the valley to the southeast of Buena [ p. 2 ] Vista at a considerable distance, probably two or three miles. San Lucas was inhabited but no unusual number of people and nothing suspicious was observed.
 
    3.    In spite of all the time killed in long halts on the trail, the patrol reached San Juan long before daylight. No outposts were encountered but our approach was heralded by the barking of dogs. There is one house left standing about one thousand yards to the east of the San Juan River which could serve the enemy excellently as an outpost. It was searched carefully the following day but the inhabitants are apparently hard-working, and friendly, and no excuse could be found for destroying it. The patrol entered the town from the east under cover of darkness and with the utmost silence and took up a position covering the main street. It was then too dark to see the man in front in column (contact was kept from Las Cruces on by each man holding the belt of the man leading him), [ p. 3 ] so the patrol waited until daylight before attacking. The barking of many dogs at the west end of town led one to believe that the town was inhabited.
 
    4.    Day light came suddenly abut 0545 and we immediately rushed the town. The grenadiers dropped three rifle grenades into town, the automatic weapon men and one squad under Cpl. Carter gained a position in the center of town covering both streets, two groups of riflemen under Sgt Nelson and the undersigned searched the houses on either side of the main street, and the grenadier moved forward to a position from which they could lay a fire on each of the three main trails leading out of town. The scheme was well-executed but a lack of enemy robbed it of its effectiveness. The town was deserted and there was no sign, other than the barking of dogs above-mentioned, to indicate that it had recently been occupied. If we did not know that a patrol of marines and guardia had been there two days before, I would have thought that it had not been [ p. 4 ] occupied since the 16th Company left there on February second.
 
    5.    Two natives were picked up coming into town later in the morning and said that Sanchez [Porfirio Sánchez] and his men had scattered after the fight with the Telpaneca patrol on the 20th. A small band of ten or twelve men had ridden through going in the direction of Pericon on the 22nd. Neither of them had heard of any harm being done to Sanchez in the fight though they believed the bandit, and marine, casualties to have been very heavy. One of these natives was known to me while I was stationed in Telpaneca and both appeared to be hard-working, honest men so I released them upon my departure.
 
    6.    The patrol cleared San Juan at 1115; cleared San Lucas at 1230; Buena Vista at 1345; Las Cruces at 1545; and reached Quilali at 1720. Nearly all the houses left standing along the trail are now occupied and the inhabitants are [ p. 5 ] busily engaged in drying and pounding coffee. None of them showed any fear of us and those interviewed either knew or would tell nothing of bandit activities. The houses near the camp fires seen the previous night were scrutinized as carefully as the distance permitted but nothing suspicious was observed.
 
    7.    Two planes came over at about 1300 when the patrol had just come in sight of Buena Vista. The panel "Marine Patrol" was laid out and they answered with a green star. They went on toward San Juan but came back a few minutes later and fired another green star to indicate they had a drop message. The message asked where we were going. The panel was laid out "V1 1+" for Quilali but the space we had for laying out the panel was very constricted and the observer seemed to have difficulty in reading it. I finally gave them a TX and LA which they acknowledged, and they then departed toward Telpaneca. [ p. 6 ]
 
    8.    Though the patrol was unproductive of results as given in the mission "to encounter and destroy bandits," nevertheless the undersigned feels that his men are deserving of high praise. The total distance covered was approximately thirty six miles, one half of it under the most trying conditions. From Las Cruces on to San Juan it was not only impossible to see the trail but even to see the man in front. The trail was mountainous and in places rutted and rocky. Nevertheless the men maintained excellent march discipline; keeping closed up and neither talking nor smoking. The only noise they made was that of their falling. They made no complaint but reached Quilali after a hike of 36 miles in less than 24 hours still in good spirits. This in spite of the facts that perhaps ninety percent of them are suffering from tropical ulcers on their legs and feet, and igua [sic] bites that have had to be cut from their feet; and that they had only had iron rations with them.
 
9. It is recommended that all night [ p. 7 ] operations be confined as nearly as possible to moonlight nights. When the prize is not great, a patrol over a black trail is apt to be unproductive of results that will justify the amount of hardship that the men undergo.

/s/ Wilburt S. Brown

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

1st Indorsement. Quilali, Nic.
25 Feb. 1928.

From:   C.O.
To:     C.O. San Albino.

1.      Forwarded
2.      When above patrol was formed, I chose the 25 men of my command who were in best physical condition; on their return, eight of these had to go on the sick list with sore feet and ulcers.
 
- - - - - - - - /s/ R. W. Peard. - - - - - -

127/220/6

Summary & Notes:

   Report hand-written.
   Night march from Quilalí to San Juan de Telpaneca; description of difficulties of night marches.
   Rushing the town only to find it deserted; pretty funny description.
   Sounds:  barking of dogs; silence of patrol, the only sound one of men falling on trail.  Sights:  utter blackness at night; campfires in the distance; day "suddenly" breaking a little before 6 a.m.
   Comments on destruction of houses:  "no excuse could be found for destroying it"; "there is one house left standing"; "nearly all the houses left standing along the trail" — suggests that the default mode for Marine-GN patrols was to destroy houses they deemed suspicious or in some way problematic.
   Inhabitants along trail from San Juan to Quilalí busy drying and pounding coffee; gives a sense of rhythms of labor in emergent coffee districts.
   Report on Feb. 20 fight by Telpaneca patrol, referenced here, has not been found.
   Interactions with two native men; popular belief that the casualties from the fight on Feb. 20 had been very heavy:  part of a larger pattern: rumors breeding exaggeration and embellishment in the popular imagination.
Porifrio Sánchez reportedly active in the district.
   Very cumbersome interactions with airplanes; panel system still has lots of bugs to work out.
   Physical hardships suffered by men:  sore feet, tropical ulcers induced by long marches; one-third (8 of 25) of the most fit men basically incapacitated after the march.  Thirty-six miles marched in 24 hours, half of it in pitch dark hanging on the the belts of the man in front.

   "Iron rations"?  Marine slang for carrying guns & ammo & no food?

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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