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U.S.M.C. Private first class William E. PLOCHARSKI COLLECTION, p. 1
P. F. C.    W I L L I A M    E.    P L O C H A R S K I    C O L L E C T I O N


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    This is the first page of a collection of 103 photographs (and one cartoon) from the personal photo album of Private First Class William Edward Plocharski (Planter) of the U.S. Marine Corps, who took these photos during his deployment in Las Segovias, Nicaragua, over a period of two years, from January 1928 to December 1929 (after 1929 he changed his surname to Planter, and henceforth was known as William Planter). (Right:  PFC William E. Plocharski, somewhere in Las Segovias.) 

     The larger photos were scanned in high resolution (600 dpi).  The smaller photos (of individual pages of the photo album) were taken at lower resolution but show the captions, and for that reason are included here.  For a full high-resolution image of each photo, click on the thumbnail image on the right-hand side of each Photo ID banner.   

      The album contains 149 photos, 103 of which are published here (plus the cartoon; the remainder would be of little interest to historians of Nicaragua).  They are presented in roughly the same sequence as they appear in the album; readers wishing to put them in exact sequence are invited to do so using the low resolution photos of each of the album's 60 or so pages, immediately below.

      Private Plocharski had a gift for composition and for capturing revealing moments — especially the unscripted, everyday, ordered chaos of military operations and the US military intervention in Las Segovias during these years — and of ordinary people doing ordinary things.  Some of his photographs are true gems.

     The collection has never been published anywhere else.  I first learned of it in January 2018 thanks to the kind courtesy of Private Plocharski's (Mr. Planter's) daughter, Patricia Barrow of Houston, Texas.  I thank Patricia Barrow and her family for their generosity in making these photographs available and permitting their publication here.  ‘Gracias manνaca de historia Patricia!

Low-resolution images of all 60-some pages of Pvt. Plocharski's photo album  (click on thumbnails for larger images):

Inventory of Plocharski Photos Housed on This Website (103 photos, 1 cartoon):


"Marines Have Landed" (cartoon)  •  PFC Plocharski with two children  •  Traversing the Panama Canal  •  Unloading rations from Fokker plane, Apalν, Jan. 1928  •  Unloading rations from Fokker plane, Apalν, Jan. 1928  •  "Perfect three point landing Jalapa plains"  • Jinotega  •  PFC Wm. Sutherland, Matagalpa, Nov. 1928  •  San Antonio, near the Honduran border, Dec. 1929  •  Tuma, June 1928  •  PFC John Nuert, Matagalpa, Aug. 1928  •  Vigilantes on patrol (1 cartoon, 11 photos)


Coffee drying at Amort's Ranch, Feb. 1929  •  Funeral procession in Jinotega  •  Funeral procession in Jinotega  •  Panoramic view of Jalapa Valley, July 1929  •  Rifle range outside Apalν, Feb. 1929  •  View of Ocotal town center  •  House in Santa Clara  •  Mess line in Jalapa, March 1929  •  Three Marines posing by small open-air barn  •  Three Marines posing next to rural outbuilding (10 photos)


Marine shaking hands with mounted man in La Trinidad  •  Marine Corps camp outside Apalν  •  Dead man lying next to footpath  •  Woman washing clothes in river near Ocotal  •  Flurry of USMC activity in San Albino  •  Marines posing outside headquarters of 8th Co., 5th Regt., Matagalpa  •  Marines in Dipilto • Main St. in Matagalpa  •  Marine Column leaving Ocotal  •  Silhouette of two Marine privates playing war (10 photos)


"Out in the hills"  •  Silhouette of Pvt. Bulger on guard  •  Pvt. Bulger posing  •  Ococona (near the Honduran border)  •  Patrolling near the Honduran border  •  "Starting on a new day"  •  "Tractors in Ocotal"  •  "Some of the boys," Ocotal, May 1929  •  San Fernando (east of Ocotal)  •  San Fernando (10 photos)


"Pvt. Heitzman and his friends"  •  Ocotal guard house, July 1928  •  Paved street in Managua  •  Marines bathing in arroyo in Ococona  •  Bathing spot in arroyo in Ococona  •  "Bath a la rock"  •  "Camping near Ocotal," May 1929  •  Marine in Ocotal  •  Pvts. Small, Hiebsz & Rogers, El Jνcaro, May 1929  •  Marines with Browning Machine Gun, Estelν, Feb. 1928  •  "Water house" on Lake Managua  •  "River ration patrol" (12 photos)


On patrol, March 1928  •  "River ration patrol"  •  "Getting an early start"  •  "In Dipilto Valley"  •  Plane crash, Estelν, March 1928  •  Marines posing with aeroplane  •  Bull carts bringing in rations, Estelν, Feb. 1928  •  "Some of the men who helped burn Santa Marνa"  •  "Some of the men who helped burn Santa Marνa"  •  "Getting another early start" (10 photos)


Quilalν  •  Jalapa airfield, "Fokker bringing rations"  •  "46th Co. getting some exercise"  •  Marines & locals by Fokker aeroplane  •  "Field Day Campo de Marte"  •  "Wash Day Campo de Marte"  •  "Hospital Mess Hall" (Managua)  •  "North gate Campo de Marte"  •  "One of the camping grounds"  •  "River ration patrol" (10 photos)


Liberal soldiers disarm after Espino Negro, May 1927  •  Unknown event taking place in a Segovian town  •  46th Co. baseball team, Jalapa  •  "Calle leading to the marine camp"  •  Baseball game, 46th vs. 52nd Co., 11th Regt., Jalapa  •  "Crater, Lake Managua"  •  "52nd Co. leaving Jalapa"  •  Bullfight fiesta in Jinotega  •  "After bombardment, Chinandega, Nic."  •  Church in Darνo (10 photos)


Pvt. Mau hunting for deer  •  "Fokker bringing rations to Jalapa"  •  Fokker in Jalapa taking off for Managua  •  "A banana patch"  •  USMC PFC William Sutherland  •  La Loma, Managua  •  Marines cleaning up equipment, Matagalpa, Dec. 1928  •  River patrol, Rio Coco  •  Street scene, Matagalpa  •  Matagalpa (probably) (10 photos)


"Marines on the trail, 1927"  •  Panorama of Matagalpa, colorized  •  Private Plocharski  •  Privates Smith & Schleger lying & smoking in tent  •  Marines with locals, Honduras-Nicaragua border, March 1928  •  Horse Marines, 52nd Co., 11th Regt.  •  "Squizzing sugar cane"  •  Uniforms worn by Marines, 1775-1925  •  "Soldiers travel on their stomachs"  •  "Nicaraguan plow" (10 photos)


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.01   •   "Marines Have Landed" (cartoon)



This comical cartoon poking fun at the aeronautical prowess of Marine Corps pilots appears on the second page of the photo album.

Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.02   •   PFC Plocharski with two children

No caption.  Pvt. Plocharski with two children in Nicaragua.

Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.03   •   Traversing the Panama Canal


Caption:  "English Steamer heading through the Canal."

Pvt. Plocharski's photo album contains quite a few photos of life aboard ship and of the Panama Canal, suggesting the importance he placed on his shipboard journey.

Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.04    •   Unloading rations from Fokker plane, Apalν, Jan. 1928

No caption.  Unloading rations at the Apalν airfield.

The caption of a similar photo that looks to have been taken at the same time, immediately below, reads:  "Apali, Nic. Jan. 15 1928 Fokker bringing Rations."


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.05    •   Unloading rations from a plane, Apalν, Jan. 1928


Caption:  "Apali, Nic. Jan. 15 1928 Fokker bringing Rations"

Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.06    •   "Perfect three point landing Jalapa plains"


Caption:  "A Perfect Three Point Landing Jalapa Nic. Plains"

Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.07   •  Jinotega


Caption:  "Jinotega Nic."


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.08   •   PFC W. Sutherland, Matagalpa, Nov. 1928


Caption:  "Matagalpa Nic. Nov. 17 1928. Pfc. W. Sutherland"


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.09   •   San Antonio, near Honduran border, Dec. 1929


Caption:  "San Antonio Nic. Dec. 29 1929 Photo taken 3 days before a Big Battle took Place."

Very probably the settlement of San Antonio in the far northwestern Segovias on the Honduran border, just southwest of Santa Maria.  Unknown what "big battle" the caption refers to.  A marvelous photo.


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.10   •   Tuma, June 1928


Caption: "June 19 1928 Tuma Nicaragua." 


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.11   •  PFC John Nuert, Matagalpa, Aug. 1928


Caption: "Matagalpa Nic. Aug. 27 1928 John D. Nuert"


Photo ID:  Readers - Plocharski - P1.12  •  Vigilantes on patrol


Caption: "Vigilantes on Patrol."

"Vigilantes" very probably refers to Voluntarios operating near the Honduran border.



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