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The air war
 


 
    This is the homepage for evidence relating to the air war in Nicaragua in the time of the Sandino rebellion, organized as follows:

     1.  This page houses all the reports from Record Group 127 of the US National Archives relating to the air war in Nicaragua, 1927-1932, for which I have photocopies or notes.  (Right: Marine Corps biplane over El Chipote, early January 1928; from the US National Archives, College Park, MD)

     2.  Air-Toons a page devoted to editorial cartoons from US and Latin American newspapers on the subject of the air war.

     3.  Air-Photos  (also housed in Photo-Docs), with photographs of airplanes, pilots, airfields, etc. the homepage for all photographs having to do with the air war (of which there are hundreds).

     4. On the Burning of Chinandega a page devoted to the destruction of the city by fire in early February 1927, at the height of the Civil or Constitutionalist War, a conflagration often blamed on two bomb-throwing American mercenary pilots hired by the Conservatives an interpretation that by my reading of the evidence has no basis in fact (page in progress).

     5. There is also my article, "Social Memory & Tactical Doctrine: The Air War in Nicaragua during the Sandino Rebellion, 1927-1934," International History Review, September 2007.


Inventory of USMC 2ND BRIGADE AIRCRAFT SQUADRONS Reports

Minor typographical errors have been corrected, and some formatting changed; otherwise transcriptions are faithful to the originals. The originals are of very poor quality and there is a fair amount of irrelevant information, so I have excerpted the most relevant nuggets.

DATE

PILOTS (OR TYPE OF REPORT & AUTHOR)

SOURCE:  RG127/--

27.07.17 Battle of Ocotal, 17 July 1927  (housed in PC-Docs) various
28.01.01 Summary Operations, Dec 11-31, 1927 43A/16/20.5
28.01.17 Excerpts from Air Service Reports, Jan 9-14, 1928 B-2 Report, 43A/3
28.02.09 Archibald & Pabst 220/2
28.02.13 Rowell & Wodarczyk 220/2
28.02.13 Lamson-Scribner & Weir 220/2
28.02.16 Rowell & Wodarczyk 220/2
28.02.19 Rowell & Guymon 220/2
28.02.19 Archibald 220/2
28.02.20 Rowell #2 220/2
28.02.20 Rowell #3 220/2
28.02.21 Lamson-Scribner 220/2
28.02.22 Wodarczyk 220/2
28.02.24 Rowell & Pabst 220/2
28.02.24 Lamson-Scribner & Weir 220/2
28.02.27 Schilt 220/2
28.02.27 Rowell 220/2
28.02.28 Wodarczyk 220/2
28.03.02 Lamson-Scribner 220/2
28.03.03 Weir & Guymon 220/2
28.03.03 Schilt, Lamson-Scribner, Guymon & Munsch 220/2
28.03.04 Rowell 220/2
28.03.11 Lamson-Scribner 220/2
28.03.15 Rowell 220/2
28.03.15 Schilt & Williamson 220/2
28.03.18 Guymon & Lamson-Scribner 220/2
28.03.19 Wodarczyk & McHugh #1 220/2
28.03.19 Wodarczyk & McHugh #2 220/2
28.03.19 Lamson-Scribner #3 220/2
28.03.19 Wodarczyk & McHugh #4 220/2
28.03.20 Lamson-Scribner, McHugh & Wodarczyk 220/2
28.03.20 Rowell 220/2
28.03.22 Rowell & Williamson 220/2
28.03.24 Recommendation for Awards and Citations, Dunlap 212/1
28.03.26 Archibald 220/2
28.03.28 Lamson-Scribner & Williamson 220/2
28.03.28 Guymon & Pabst 220/2
28.03.29 Rowell 220/2
28.04.01 McHugh 220/2
28.04.02 Rowell & Pabst 220/2
28.04.03 McHugh 220/2
28.04.03 Wodarczyk & Pabst 220/2
28.04.04 Schilt & Williamson; Archibald, Schilt & Williamson 220/2
28.04.05 Rowell & Williamson 220/2
28.04.06 Extract from Air Service Report 220/2
28.04.10 Rowell & Williamson 220/2
28.04.12 Lamson-Scribner & Pabst 220/2
28.04.15 Rowell 220/2
28.04.24 Archibald 220/2
28.04.30 Rowell 220/2
28.05.03 Thomas, Martin 212/1
28.05.05 Guymon 220/2
28.05.05 Williamson 220/2
28.07.15 Air Observation and Air Deductions, Dunlap 220/2
28.09.29 Bourne & McHugh 220/2
28.10.15 Bourne, Britt, Manley, Weir & Ewalt 220/2
28.10.21 Bourne   220/2
28.10.24 Williamson & Frith 220/2
28.10.31 Towner & Howard 220/2
28.11.01 Howard & Frith 220/2
28.11.01 Williamson & Kail 220/2
28.11.14 unknown 220/2
28.11.20 [Bourne] 220/2
28.11.21 [Bourne] 220/2
28.11.25 Bourne & Frith 220/2
28.11.26 [Bourne] 220/2
28.11.28 Howard & Hull 220/2
28.12.04 Howard & Britt 220/2
28.12.20 Bourne & Hull 220/2
28.12.21 Britt & Frith 220/2
29.01.10 Williamson & Britt 220/2
29.01.12 [Bourne] 220/2
29.11.02 [Weekly Operations Reports, 29.01.05 to 29.11.02] 43A/16
30.06.19 Johnson & Young 220/2
30.06.20 Geer, et al. 220/2
30.06.21 Extract from Weekly Operations Report, Mitchell 220/2
30.09.24 Weekly Operations Report 43A/17/27.5
30.11.02 Schrider, Heritage 43A/16 
30.11.06 Young & Williams (Matiguas) 43A/16
30.11.11 Williams, Schrider & Henderson 43A/16
31.01.02 McQuade & Clark 43A/16
31.04.18 Weekly Operations Report 43A/17/28.5
31.10.17 McKittrick, Major, Weir, Dailey 43A/17/1.22
32.07.17 Summary of Reports, 2 July - 29 Oct 1932 43A/16/25.5
   
   

Excerpts From AIR SERVICE Reports

 

ca. 1 Jan 1928.   Summary of Operations, F. D. Weir

 

Summary of Operations

 

F. D. Weir

2nd Brigade, US Marines

Managua, Nicaragua

ca. 1 January 1928

 

 

... 12 December 1927.   Two 02B-1 airplanes, Nos. 6911 and 6920, Major Rowell, pilot, with 2nd Lt Chappell, observer, and 2nd Lt Lamson Scribner, pilot, with Gy Sgt Arnold, observer, took off Managua at 0820 on a reconnaissance flight to Ocotal-Chipote area.  While circling Chipote planes were fired upon by outpost on east side of slope.  Fire was not returned and planes were not hit.  At Santa Ana a group of ten or twelve bandits rode into a banana patch adjoining a ranch house.  This group was attacked by bombs and machine guns.  The horses were stampeded but the men remained in hiding.  The planes returned to Managua and landed at 1255.

 

16 December 1927.   Two 02B-1 airplanes, Nos. 6923 and 6920, 2nd Lt. Weir, pilot, with Cpl. Corris, observer, and Gy Sgt Munsch, pilot, with Gy Sgt Tobin, observer, took off Managua at 0830 and made a reconnaissance flight to Jicaro; Guilali; Chipote area.  About two miles south of Las Vueltas ten mounted men were observed in a ravine and were attacked with bombs and machine guns.  During the reconnaissance of the Murra River valley, the planes were fired upon from Chipote.  Fire was not returned and planes were not hit.  The Planes returned to Managua and landed at 1255.

17 December 1927.   Two 02B-1 airplanes, Nos. 6911 and 6909, 1st Lt. Schilt, pilot, with Capt. Pierce, observer, and 2nd Lt Lamson-Scribner, pilot, with Gy Sgt Kurtz, observer, took off Managua at 0940 on a reconnaissance flight of Telpaneca and vicinity.  As San Juan de Telpaneca five or six men and horses were observed around a house.  The planes strafed them with bombs and machine guns.  Casualties - unknown.  At Portal several horses were seen under the trees.  These were strafed with rear machine guns and they scattered in all directions.  The planes returned to Managua and landed at 1325.

 

30 December 1927.   Two 02B-1 airplanes, Nos. 6911 and 6909, Lt. Lamson-Scribner, pilot, with Lt. Chappell, observer, and Sgt. Pabst, pilot, with Gy Sgt Adams, observer, took off Managua at 0810 and made a reconnaissance and liaison flight to the vicinity of Captain Livingston's and Lt. Richal's columns.  One mile southeast of Quilali contact was made with Captain Livingston's patrol who laid out the following panels:  FIRED 4 MARINES KILLED - PROCEEDING QUILALI.  While circling the column the planes were fired upon from the ridge to the right front.  Fire was returned and area around patrol was strafed.  The planes were not hit. 

 

Landed at Ocotal at 1145 and took off Ocotal at 1520 and returned to Managua at 1645. ... One 0L-4 airplane, No. 7057, Lt. Schilt, pilot, with Gy Sgt Kildow, observer, and Mr. Denny a newspaper correspondent as passenger, took off Bluefields at 1235 and landed at Lake San Carlos to refuel, at 1435.  Took off Lake San Carlos at 1525 and landed at Managua at 1730. ...  [Note:  this was Harold Norman Denny, the New York Times correspondent, whose book Dollars for Bullets (NY: Dial Press, 1929) provided an important exposé of US intervention in Nicaragua. ]

 

 

43A/16

 

 

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17 Jan 1928.   Excerpts from Air Service Reports, Jan 9-14, 1928. 

 

B-2 Intelligence Report

January 17, 1928

2nd Brigade, US Marines

Managua, Nicaragua

 

 

... January 9th.   At El Chipote the air patrol noted great activity near the crest of the mountain.  The planes were fired on by large guns of unknown type and a machine gun mounted on a tripod, also a small amount of rifle fire.  The planes did not return this fire.

 

January 10th.   The air forces kept a continual reconnaissance over the route of Captain Peard's column.  At 1245 the air patrol sighted a group of bandits, horses, and mules under some trees between Las Cruces and Buena Vista, about one mile ahead of the marching column.  This group was in excellent position to do considerable damage to the column.  Bombs were dropped and the position was strafed with machine guns.  The air patrol reported ten known dead in this action.  They estimated that fifteen men and five mules were killed.

 

About 1400 Captain Peard's column was about half a mile east of Las Cruces and proceeding in good order.  About 1500 yards ahead of the column an ambuscade was discovered.  Men wearing straw hats, and some horses were seen in the brush by the air force.  This point was attacked vigorously with bombs and machine guns, by the air patrol.  Fire was also brought to bear on the position of the column with stoke mortars and machine guns.  The bandits were soon dispersed by this combined attack of the air and ground units. 

The ground forces captured one bandit horse and re-captured two of the mules lost by Richal's column during their fight at Sapotillal Ridge.  Four dead bandits were found and fresh blood was seen on the ground which indicated other wounded bandits or animals.  At 1545 the air patrol sighted a group of bandits thought to be the same as dispersed at 1400.  Bombs were dropped on them and they were strafed with machine gun fire.  No known damage done.

 

January 11th.   In reconnoitering the new outpost of Sandino's between San Albino and San Geronimo, the planes observed a series of trenches fox hole type, so constructed as to cover the road from San Albino to Chipote.  The place showed evidence of being occupied by a large force of men.  Nearly fifty horses were seen grazing in the immediate vicinity.  As the planes came in sight a few men were seen disappearing into the heavy timber in a nearby ravine.  The planes opened fire on them.  The trenches, buildings, horses, and woods were strafed with machine guns and bombed.  Due to the heavily wooded terrain it was impossible to observe what effect the attack had on the outpost.

January 14th.  An all-Guardia patrol commanded by Lieutenant McDonald cleared San Albino at 2300, January 13th, and proceeded down the river bed and cross country to the San Geronimo mountain range.  At 1000, on the 14th, the patrol came in contact with a bandit outpost; the attack was a complete surprise to the bandits, who were quickly routed.  One of Sandino's jefes, named Mendez, was killed; on his body important papers of recent date from Chipote were found.  Two others, who were wounded, escaped.  The patrol captured:  One rifle, one revolver, 13 rounds of rifle ammunition, six rounds of pistol ammunition, one mule and one saddle. 

 

On January 14th, Observation Squadron seven-M sent a contact patrol of four planes against El Chipote, Sandino's mountain stronghold.  At 1200, upon arrival two planes attacked the northern end of the mountain and the other two attacked the southern point.  The attack lasted for thirty-two minutes.  Heavy machine gun and rifle fire was encountered during the whole attack.  When Major Rowell made the first dive two rockets of some description were fired at the plane.  One bomb was dropped which made a direct hit on one of the houses.  Upon the bursting of the bomb about fifty men ran from a house nearby.  Immediately another bomb was dropped making a direct hit in the middle of this group.  Fifty pound bombs were dropped in the vicinity of the warehouse with telling effect.  About twelve phosphorous bombs were dropped on the warehouse, but due to the speed of the planes and the terrain, satisfactory results could not be obtained.  The majority of these bombs rolled down in a deep ravine.  It is believed a number of men were in hiding there and results may have been more than observed. 

 

After dropping two bombs and firing about 200 rounds of fixed gun ammunition Major Rowell was forced to proceed to Ocotal due to motor trouble.  A total of four fifty-pound bombs and eighteen seventeen-pound bombs and about 2,800 rounds of machine gun ammunition were expended.  The planes were hit six times.  Approximately forty-five dead were seen in and around the shacks on the hill. ...

 

 

B-2 Report, 17 Jan. 1928, 43A/3.

 

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Return to Air-Toons Comic Book of 1976

 

9 Feb 1928.  Captain Archibald & Sgt. Pabst.

 

Observation Squadron 7-M

Managua, Nicaragua

9 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #2

Captain Archibald, Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

... 1050.  GUALI:  There were a total of about eleven men seen and six horses in the pasture.  One group of six men were digging holes on a knoll about 600 yards east of town.  They were either burying or uncovering something.  Planes circled over these people but they did not stop their work to look up at the planes.  There were also four women present, two of the women looked up at the planes the other posted around the building.  This looked suspicious as all the people in that vicinity around the fincas stopped their work and watched the planes. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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13 Feb 1928.   Major Ross E. Rowell & Marine Gunner Wodarczyk.

 

Observation Squadron 7-M

Managua, Nicaragua

13 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report

Major Ross E. Rowell, Marine Gunner Wodarczyk

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

 ...  San Rafael del Norte to Yali was reconnoitered and showed no signs of outlaw activities.  The Tuma River area was examined from Jinotega to the junction of the Yasica River at Tuma with similar results.  The entire coffee country in the hills between Jinotega and the Rio Cumplida (Willy Map) was carefully searched.  Practically every coffee finca in that section was examined at a very low altitude.  At all the plantations work was proceeding as usual.  Men, women and children, in normal numbers, came out to look at the planes.  Many waved white cloths.  Only the usual number of horses and mules were present.  No evidence of the presence of outlaws was noted anywhere.  This entire sector is very rough, mountainous and densely wooded.  If outlaws are present, they are doubtless hidden in the thick woods.  All other areas visited were entirely normal. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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13 Feb 1928.   Lt. Frank H. Lamson-Scribner & Lt. Kenneth H. Weir.

 

Observation Squadron 7-M

Managua, Nicaragua

13 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report

Lt. Lamson-Scribner and Lt. Weir

 

... Two 02-1 airplanes ...

 

The area around Condega was thoroughly searched for signs of outlaw activity but none could be found.  The fincas around Duculi-Portrerillo-San Tule-Rodeo-San Pedro seem to be inhabited by more than the ordinary, with quite a number of horses to be seen.  The inhabitants, however, do not seem to be afraid of the planes, their actions were suspicious at only one house where two men were seen to dodge into a house.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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16 Feb 1928.    Major Ross E. Rowell & Marine Gunner Wodarczyk.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

16 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report

Major Ross E. Rowell, Marine Gunner Wodarczyk.

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

... 0740 - Trinidad:  Town almost entirely deserted, only three or four houses on the outskirts had women present.  Most of the buildings had the doors and shutters closed.  Two or three of the larger buildings on the plaza had the doors and windows swinging open with no one in sight.  In front of one of these stores dry goods and various articles were strewn about on the porch and in the streets. ...

 

0935-0955  - Reconnoitered area north and east of Trinidad, and east of Esteli.  Followed a branch of the Rio Viejo which runs northwest from Mechapa and terminates near the northern base of the large mountain southeast of Esteli.  From this point a trail goes to Esteli, about six miles over the ridge.  In this valley there are several large fincas and at three of them ten (10) to twenty (20) men appeared and looked at the planes.  These groups were suspicious as they did not have the appearance of the usual farm gatherings.  Only one or two women were present with these groups. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 Feb 1928.   Major Ross E. Rowell & Lt. Guymon.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #2

Major Ross E. Rowell, Lt. Guymon

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

The place marked Jocomico on the map is a large cattle ranch.  The ranch house looked rather deserted for such a large cattle ranch.  At Santa Ana (three miles north of Jocomico), six horses were grazing at a small shack.  Two men were sitting in the doorway.  Fired two short bursts from a gun nearby.  The horses bolted but the men did not move.  They seemed suspiciously unconcerned.  It is not believed that the outlaw hiding place was visited at low altitude, as no horses were seen other than the small bunch at Santa Ana. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 Feb 1928.   Captain Robert J. Archibald.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 Feb 1928

 

Air Patrol Report

Captain R. J. Archibald

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

... 1145 - Matagalpa ... The panel station [communications center] at this place has been changed to the hill in the center of the town, which is not as good a location for dropping as the planes have to come lower and directly over the town.  There is a possibility of the message being dropped on the roofs of the houses or lost between them.  The planes are also carrying bombs and should not be brought in over the town, if possible. ...

 

Much activity was noted throughout the whole area.  Many pack animals, bull carts, and horsemen were observed on all roads throughout the coffee district.  This however, is considered normal.  There were many people at all the plantations and seemed to be engaged in their usual work. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 Feb 1928, #2.   Major Rowell & Sgt. Pabst.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #2

Major R. E. Rowell, Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

Nothing suspicious could be found in the area searched except at a ranch house at Santa Ana.  At this place there was a herd of cattle and about forty horses in the pasture adjoining the house.  Although the place was a rather large one, no one was in sight except one woman standing near the door.  Two bursts were fired with the front gun into the mountainside in the hopes of frightening out any persons in hiding.  The women dashed inside and no one appeared.  This was the only place where any numbers of horses were seen.  There are a great number of small wooded ravines in that section and sufficient time to search them all was not available.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 Feb 1928, #3.   Major Rowell.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #3

Major Ross E. Rowell

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1700 - Jocomico:  Two large houses northeast of the town showed signs of being inhabited but no one appeared.  Fired a burst from front machine gun into the mountainside and a man came out of one of the houses and fired at the plane.  Returned fire from gun through roof of house but no one appeared.  However, a man came out from a joining house and fired at the plane.  The observer put a burst through the roof of this house but no one appeared. 

 

1710 - Two miles southwest of Jocomico:  A herd of about six hundred head of cattle was seen proceeding north on a trail through a deep canyon.  Fourteen horsemen were riding among the cattle.  Plane flew as low as possible but could not see if the men were carrying arms.  They did not run or attempt to hide. ... It is not believed there were very many men at the houses where the firing took place.  It was not considered that the circumstances warranted the bombing of the buildings.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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21 Feb 1928.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

21 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #1

Lt. Lamson-Scribner

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1005 - One mile northwest of Tuma:  Four mounted men and one pack animal was seen along side of road.  One man had a rifle and was seen pointing it in direction of plane.  A burst from front machine gun was fired at this group.  All dove into the bushes. ...

 

1105 - Jinotega landing field:  several Marines and a number of natives were busy working on field. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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22 Feb 1928.   Marine Gunner Woderczyk.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

22 Feb 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #2

Marine Gunner Woderczyk

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

... 1050 - Naranjo:  Captain Hall's column entering town from the south.  Panel "Bandits North and West."  Reconnoitered area north and west but no outlaws were seen.  Reconnoitered area east and found a group of five (5) outlaws hiding in brush about three hundred yards from Captain Hall's column.  Fired a burst from front machine guns at this group and they ran deeper in the woods.  Captain Hall sent out a patrol to engage with this group.  Plane circled around over the patrol.  After the patrol returned panels "Two Bandits Killed" laid out.  Reconnoitered area south of Naranjo and observed a group of ten natives in a house.  This was reported to Captain Hall who sent out a patrol and searched the house but the group had escaped while plane was dropping the message.  Panel "Request Plane Bomb In Front of Reconnoitering Party."  Plane did not bomb as our men were well spread out and it would have been dangerous. ...

The group of outlaws east of Naranjo, after being discovered, removed their white clothing so the planes could not see them.  No other concentrations other than noted above were seen.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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24 Feb 1928.   Major Rowell & Sgt. pabst.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

24 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #1

Major Ross E. Rowell and Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

... 1005 - About three miles north of Sasle:  Saw two men, one riding and one walking, driving a herd of cattle north.  When they heard the planes they ran into the brush and hid.  Fired from front and rear guns but they did not come out from hiding.  A little further up the road belonging to the same group, were three other men who also ran for cover.  Fired front and rear guns.  One man laid down but afterwards ran and hid.  Strafed the brush without drawing the men from cover.  A little later saw the first two run further across the fields.  It is estimated that there were about ten or twelve men in the gang.  The fire of the planes was not returned.

 

1010-1045 - Patrolled the Sasle area:  No further signs of outlaws were seen.  The people in this area, apparently feared trouble as they waved white flags and sheets at almost every finca. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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24 Feb 1928.   Lt. Lamson-Scribner & Lt. Weir.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

24 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report

Lt. Lamson-Scribner and Lt. Weir

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1420 - Nine miles south of Santa Cruz on the Rio Pantasma:  Saw three men driving herd of 25 cattle and one packed burro.  The men ran for shelter upon the approach of the plane and could not be routed out.

 

1425 - About one mile further southwest along the Rio Pantasma.  Saw three men at a house, one mounted.  The mounted man endeavored to hide himself and horse, and failing that, rode for the trees along the river.  One of the men at the house had a rifle, but saw no sign of the plane being fired on.  The men on foot ran for the house and after the plane fired a burst through the roof from the rear gun, ran for the thick brush to the east. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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27 Feb 1928.  Lt. Christian Schilt.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

27 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #2

Lt. Schilt

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

1135 - San Juan de Telpaneca:  Observed several men in one house.  They were unarmed and appeared friendly. ...

 

San Juan de Telpaneca was occupied by several men in one house, who came out and looked at the plane as it passed over.  The mountainside north of the Rio Coco, from Telpaneca to Quilali, shows many more people than on previous flights.  They show no sign of being afraid of the planes and are working around the houses and in the fields.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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27 Feb 1928.  Major Rowell.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

27 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #3

Major R. E. Rowell

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1020 - Fifteen miles northeast of Yali:  At a point about one mile west of the junction of the San Juan and Coco Rivers, another river, flowing northward, joins the Coco.  About two miles south, up this stream, there is a small valley containing about twelve buildings fairly well scattered.  When the plane approached this place a number of people were seen to quickly enter the houses.  The plane circled the place for several minutes but every person there remained in hiding.  Three men were caught hiding at one house.  The underbrush along the stream is heavy and could not be searched effectively for mounts.  However, ten horses were seen in one pasture lot at the southern edge of the area.  This place corresponds rather closely to the location described as "Las Vegas".  At other places in the Yali area the people did not hide.

 

1045 - Santa Cruz:  This place presented the usual suspicious atmosphere.  Only a portion of the large herd of cattle presented a few days ago, could be seen.  Twenty horses were found grazing in the immediate vicinity.  One horse, saddled, was tied to the porch rail of the house.  No one appeared.

 

1055 - Cua:  There are about a dozen small shacks in this area.  The people are afraid of airplanes and all hide. ...

 

1145 - San Juan de Telpaneca:  About two-thirds of the houses are abandoned or closed up.  About six people were seen in the town.  They did not hide and behaved in a normal manner.

1150 - Pericon:  Everyone in the town took cover and hid.

 

1155 - One mile east of Pericon:  A train of animals was seen on the road proceeding towards San Juan de Telpaneca.  The train proved to consist of about forty animals.  Twenty were heavily loaded mules, with large brown canvas-covered packs, similar to those used by our men.  The pack animals were escorted by twenty mounted natives.  There was no cover within easy distance.  The train did not stop.  Not a man halted or dismounted.  The plane was only able to fly within about two hundred yards of the column, due to the terrain, and it was impossible to see whether or not the men carried arms.  They all watched the plane very closely. ...

The place assumed to be Los Vegas, could not be positively identified as an outlaw camp but it presented a very suspicious appearance.  Santa Cruz and Pericon also appear suspicious.  All other areas visited appeared normal.  A month ago the pack train seen would certainly have been an outlaw crew and would have been immediately attacked.  Under the present conditions it can only be characterized as extremely suspicious.  If the train had been legitimate it should have passed through Telpaneca, which it evidently did not do.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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28 Feb 1928.  Marine Gunner Wodarczyk.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

28 February 1928

 

Air Patrol Report #2

Marine Gunner Wodarczyk

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

1030 - Ocotal:  Landed.  Was advised by Captain Arthur that Lieutenant O'Day was ambushed at Daraili Ranch, and was asked to have plane investigate. ... [see PC-28.03.01 for Lt. O'Day's full report of the Battle of Bramadero & ancillary documents]

 

1300 - One half mile south of Pijanal:  A group of horsemen were observed taking cover in a barn.  The plane circled and was fired upon from the barn.  Fire was returned and the first bomb dropped a few feet from the barn.  The outlaws began scattering in all directions, in groups of two and three.  A total of four bombs were dropped.  Casualties inflicted unknown.  The outlaws had scattered and it was impossible to locate them, action was suspended.  It is estimated there were thirty to fifty outlaws in this group.  The plane was struck on the right wing and tail section almost shot off, one longeron completely destroyed.  One bullet missed the pilot by a foot. ...

The area reconnoitered north of Daraili Ranch appeared active.  The outlaw group when first observed was headed north.  They opened fire first and seemed to be very confident.  The group at Pijanal may be much larger than estimated as the territory is heavily wooded.  Pijanal is about eight miles north of Daraili Ranch.

 

The area around San Juan de Telpaneca and the roads to Telpaneca, have many native pack trains on them. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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2 March 1928.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

2 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Lamson-Scribner

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

1255 - Pijanal:  One man observed lying flat on the ground.  Fired burst of machine gun fire at him but do not believe he was hit.  No other men were seen at this place.

 

1300 - San Andres:  Around several of the fincas in this vicinity, about twenty-five horses were seen.  The plane fired at one finca where some of the horses were tied, but no one appeared.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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3 March 1928.  Lt. Weir & Lt. Guymon.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

3 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Weir, Lt. Guymon

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1020 - Concordia:  Occupied by outlaws.  Mounted outposts of two men and patrolling roads in vicinity.  Three small pack trains headed in direction of Esteli, Concepcion, and Yali, respectively.  Fifty men actually seen in town.  Three women seen.  Men were in groups and were seen to rush out of houses to look at planes.  No arms and only a few horses were seen.

 

1050 - Concepcion:  Fifteen horses and five men seen at a corral.  About ten rounds fired at this place but nothing developed. ...

 

Area patrolled normal except at Concordia and Concepcion.  Concordia is occupied by between fifty and one hundred men.  The absence of women is very suspicious as at least thirty women are usually seen in this town.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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3 March 1928.  Lt. Schilt, Lt. Lamson-Scribner, Lt. Guymon, Gy. Sgt. Munsch.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

3 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Schilt, Lt. Lamson-Scribner, Lt. Guymon, & Gy. Sgt. Munsch

 

... Four 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1500 - Concordia:  Town quiet.  No signs of outlaws seen.  The free lance plane came low over the town several times.  Twelve or fifteen women, nine children, and eight men were seen in town.  Two women were sweeping the interior of the church.  After looking the town over closely, one bomb was dropped in a field just outside the town.  The plane immediately circled low over the town to note the effect.  The women ran for their houses and stood in the doorways looking in the direction of the explosion and toward the plane.  The men ran for the houses and then as no more bombs were dropped, came back into the streets.  After making certain there were no hostile activities on the part of the inhabitants, the plane returned to Colon and notified the leader. ...

 

The outlaws reported in Concordia this morning, have left town.  The number of men in town is below normal but the women and children have returned. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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4 March 1928.  Major Rowell.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

4 March 1928

 

Air Mission Report

Major Ross E. Rowell

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1000 - Area northeast of Yali:  Large coffee fincas about six miles northeast of Yali were all flying large white flags.  About ten miles northeast of Yali three saddled horses were hitched to a tree at a small hut.  Fired a short burst from the machine gun into the hill nearby but no one appeared.  At the place corresponding to "Constancia" on Major Rockey's sketch, large quantities of washing was noted.  A good sized herd of cattle was present and quite a number of horses were seen grazing.  There are ten or twelve houses in the group there, all are evidently occupied and the entire population was hidden. ...

 

Miraflores shows signs of having been recently visited by outlaws, if they are not present now.  The are about twelve miles northeast of Yali appears very suspicious.  The coffee fincas five or six miles northeast of Yali appear to be free from outlaws at present.  Concordia looks like a town that fears a visit of outlaws at any time.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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11 March 1928.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

11 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Lamson-Scribner

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

1005 - Four miles northwest of Tuma:  Observed one man run in house on approach of plane.  There were two saddled horses tied to a post, two saddled horses grazing nearby and two pack animals in vicinity of house, in addition, there were five horses within two hundred yards of the house.  Fired a burst of machine gun fire over the top of the house but failed to develop the character of the group. ...

 

There was the usual Sunday traffic on the roads.  Area appeared normal except for the men at the house northwest of Tuma.  No arms were seen but the group was very suspicious. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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15 March 1928.  Major Rowell.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

15 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Rowell

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1030 - Daraili Ranch:  Ranch appeared normal.  Natives were observed rebuilding house that was burnt at the scene of the recent ambush.

 

1055 - Small village (name unknown) on river that empties into Coco River just above junction with San Juan River:  Plenty of stock and animals present.  Large amounts of washing at the ten or twelve houses there.  Entire population was hidden.  Observed a white saddled mule being hidden in a house.  Fired a burst from machine gun at house and observed six or eight men run from the bushes in the yard to thicker cover.  This place has been reported before as extremely suspicious. ...

 

The flight was principally devoted to general observation for Major Floyd.  A close reconnaissance was made of the area northeast of Yali.  In the area immediately northeast of that place, every house and every coffee finca for a distance of ten miles had white flags hoisted.  There were many more than ever before noted.  This is the area recently visited by Major Rockey's column.  This probably means that outlaws are nearby.  The next valley northeast of this one is very suspicious as every one hides when the planes approach.  The place where the firing was done, is believed to be an outlaw camp.  Nothing unusual was noted elsewhere.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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15 March 1928.  Lt. Schilt & Lt. Williamson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

15 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Schilt, Lt. Williamson

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1520 - About four miles northwest of Carratera:  Two men ran from a finca for the adjacent creek and hid in the brush.  Fired a burst with the front gun through the roof but no others came out.  Strafed the creek bed but without results. ...

 

No signs of any outlaws in bands were seen on the patrol.  The actions of the two men who ran for the creek was suspicious as they ran while the planes were fully a quarter of a mile away and headed away from the finca.  They would not have been seen if they had not run.  There are two houses on the top of Pena Blanca but no people were seen.  The trail leading north to Paso Real has been very heavily traveled in the last few days.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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18 March 1928.  Lt. Guymon & Lt. Lamson-Scribner.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

18 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Guymon, Lt. Lamson-Scribner

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1120 - Murra:  Appeared normal.  A few miles south of Murra, on the west bank of the Murra River, heard two distinct shots from the woods.  Strafed woods with machine gun fire but could not locate any outlaws.  At the house, nearby were numerous fowls, cattle and horses. ...

 

1200-1210 - Pantasma Valley:  At the head of the Pantasma River, two men and approximately fifteen horses were seen at a ranch house.  Fired several bursts with machine gun but nothing suspicious was developed. ...

 

The houses from San Albino to Murra appear to be deserted.  No one was in sight in Murra.  This was abnormal for this section.  Between one and two miles south of Murra, one plane was fired upon and hit twice, one bullet entered the tail section of one of the bombs, and the other through the right wing.  Approximately three hundred rounds of machine gun ammunition and two bombs (17 lbs.) were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 March 1928, #1.   Marine Gunner Wodarczyk & Lt. McHugh.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #1

Marine Gunner Wodarczyk, Lt. McHugh

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1210 - One half mile northeast of Murra:  Planes were fired upon from a finca.  Dropped one bomb with good effect.  Planes were fired on from another house and another bomb was dropped with good effect.  About two and a half miles southwest of Murra, planes were fired on by a group of outlaws from the brush.  Puffs of smoke were seen coming from the brush but the number of outlaws present could not be estimated.  Dropped one bomb about one hundred feet from the brush.  About this time the planes were fired upon from a large house, and as planes were maneuvering into position to attack, Captain Pierce was hit in the left foot by a rifle bullet, bullet passing through his foot and hitting the seat pack of the pilot's parachute.  This occurred about 1225.  It was necessary to discontinue the attack and proceed to Ocotal with Captain Pierce, as his foot was bleeding badly and was in need of medical attention. ...

The area east and southwest of Murra appeared to be occupied by a force of one hundred and fifty outlaws, scattered in eight different houses.  The planes were fired on from four separate houses and from the brush.  They appeared to be very well armed, with at least one machine gun and probably two.  The bullet which struck Captain Pierce in the foot, was a Springfield rifle bullet. ... About three hundred rounds of machine guns ammunition and three bombs were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 March 1928, #2.  Marine Gunner Wodarczyk & Lt. McHugh.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #2

Marine Gunner Wodarczyk and Lt. McHugh

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1345 - Murra area:  Planes were fired upon from eight different houses.  Attacked all houses and brush in the vicinity with good effect.  The outlaws ran from the houses and scattered into the brush and among the cattle.  Bombs were dropped among the horses and cattle, killing a few horses, cattle, and some men.  The outlaws fought very well and seemed to have plenty of ammunition.  Casualties inflicted unknown.  The engagement was discontinued at 1410. ...

 

The group of outlaws appeared to be very confident and seemed to have plenty of ammunition.  The planes were hit five times.  About fourteen hundred rounds of machine gun ammunition and nineteen bombs were expended.  No other activities were noted.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 March 1928, #3.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #3

Lt. Lamson-Scribner

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1620 - Murra:  Three miles north of Murra, fifteen men were seen hiding in the brush.  How many more had already reached the brush could not be determined.  The planes bombed and ground strafed this area.  Due to the tall underbrush it was impossible to determine the results. ...

 

The band of outlaws were in a house when they heard the planes approaching.  They attempted to reach the woods about 100 yards from the house as the planes came over the crest of the hill.  Fifteen men were observed just entering the woods.  As the planes approached closer, five men who had concealed themselves on the edge of the woods, attempted to secure a better hiding place by moving deeper in the brush.  Bombs were dropped all over the area where the outlaws had concealed themselves, but due to the dense undergrowth, it was impossible to estimate the casualties.

About three hundred and fifty rounds of machine gun ammunition and six bombs were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 March 1928, #4.  Marine Gunner Wodarczyk & Lt. McHugh.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #4

Marine Gunner Wodarczyk and Lt. McHugh

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1715 - Murra area:  The place the outlaws had previously been seen is called Patraras [Potreros] on the O'Shea map.  As the largest house in the area, there were eight pack animals, packed, ready to move.  On the approach of the planes the outlaws appeared to be very excited, some running into the house and some running out.  The house was immediately attacked with bombs and machine guns.  The planes were fired upon, one plane having one of the flying wires shot away at the initial phase of the attack.  Horses and cattle were concentrated at three different fincas, which were bombed and strafed with machine gun fire.  The planes concentrated on the largest finca in the area.  The outlaws appeared to be quitting towards the end of the attack as the planes had bombed every place that looked suspicious.  The attack was discontinued at 1740, as it was becoming dark and the planes proceeded to Ocotal. ...

 

The outlaws appeared to be packing up and getting ready to move when the planes arrived.  There were several animals packed, men catching horses, and three different corrals had cattle in them.  No observation was made between Ocotal and Murra and return.  Planes were hit four times.  Fourteen hundred rounds of machine gun ammunition and twenty bombs were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 March 1928.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner, Lt. McHugh, & Marine Gunner Woderczyk.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #3

Lt. Lamson-Scribner, Lt. McHugh, Marine Gunner Woderczyk

 

... Three 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

0950 - Murra: ... Thoroughly reconnoitered the area around Murra, and nothing suspicious was observed.  Two places that had been bombed yesterday were fired into, and large numbers of Turkey Buzzards arose from each place. ...

 

Major Gray's patrol occupied the town of Murra and he had nothing to report.  Due to the large number of buzzards observed, it is believed that a great amount of damage was done in the vicinity of Murra the day previous.  It was impossible to observe from the air what damage was done, due to the thick undergrowth.  The area appeared deserted and very few people were observed.  About 900 rounds of ammunition and 11 bombs were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 March 1928.  Major Rowell. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #4

Major Ross E. Rowell

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1430 - Chipote Mountain:  No outlaw activities were noted, but the trail across Chipote Mountain shows recent heavy traffic.

 

1440 - East side of large mountain, east of Quilali:  A newly made village of about ten shacks was observed in the woods.  Many domestic animals were present, but the population remained undiscovered.

1450 - San Bartolo:  At a large ranch house here, several saddled horses were seen inside of the building.  Fired machine gun burst through the roof and the animals stampeded.  Five horses came out of the building, three of which were saddled.  Two other horses could be seen picketed beneath the trees.  This place looked suspicious but no persons appeared.

 

1455 - Ranch near Coco River directly east of San Bartolo:  A small group of horsemen seen taking cover in woods.  Dropped two bombs and horses stampeded.  The men ran into thick cover. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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22 March 1928.  Major Rowell & Lt. Williamson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

22 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #1

Major Rowell, Lt. Williamson

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1252 - Ojoche:  Pack train of eight animals and four mounted men were observed leaving town proceeding up Licaroy Mountain.  Fired a burst from machine gun but pack train paid no attention and continued up the trail. ...

 

In the Pantasma area an exceptional amount of stock was observed.  Between Cua and Guiguili there was also a large amount of stock.  The people in this area hid, which showed a suspicious appearance not observed heretofore. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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24 March 1928.  R. H. Dunlap.  Recommendations for Awards and Citations in Connection with Aerial Bombardment of Bandit Forces in Murra Region on 18-19 March 1928. 

 

Headquarters

Northern Area, Western Nicaragua, U.S. Marines

Ocotal, Nicaragua

24 March 1928

 

 

From:     The Commanding Officer

To:         The Commanding General, Second Brigade, US Marines, Managua, Nicaragua

 

Subject:  Recommendations for awards and citations in connection with aerial bombardment of bandit forces in Murra region on 18-19 March, 1928.

 

1.  On 18 March, 1928, two 02U-1 airplanes, first Lieut. Vernon M. Guymon, pilot, with First Lieut. Franklin G. Cowie, observer, and Second Lieut. Frank H. Lamson-Scribner, pilot, with Corporal Norcross, observer, while flying very low on a reconnaissance mission, heard two distinct shots fired at them from some woods a few miles south of Murra.  They immediately strafed the woods with machine gun fire, but due to the thickness of the underbrush, no bandits could be located.  Upon return to Managua, an inspection disclosed the fact that the plane piloted by Lieut. Lamson-Scribner had been hit twice.  One bullet punctured the tail of a bomb and the other passed through the right wing.

2.  On the morning of 19 March, 1928, two 02U-1 airplanes, Chief Marine Gunner Michael Wodarczyk, pilot and leader, with Captain Francis E. Pierce, chief observer, and Second Lieut. James B. McHugh, pilot, with Gunnery Sergeant Patrick H. Tobin, observer, after landing at Ocotal, took off on a reconnaissance mission to investigate the area in the vicinity of Murra, from which airplanes were fired on by bandit forces on the previous day.  Arriving at a point about one-half mile northeast of Murra, the planes received fire from a finca, and, flying low, bombs were dropped with good effect.  Shortly afterwards the planes received fire from another house, on which they dropped a bomb with equally telling effect.  Continuing on their reconnaissance, they arrived at a point about two and one-half miles southeast of Murra, when both planes received heavy fire from a group of outlaws hidden in the brush.  They attacked this hidden group, flying low, and dropped a bomb in the vicinity of the brush.  About this time the planes were maneuvering into a position to attack it, one of the bandits' bullets struck the plane piloted by Chief Marine Gunner Wodarczyk, passing through the left foot of Captain Pierce, his observer, thence through the seat under Gunner Wodarczyk, lodging in [yhr lsyyrt's] parachute.  Captain Pierce, even though bleeding freely and suffering severely from his wound, displayed great courage and kept his gun in action until his condition necessitated his return for medical attention.  In view of the necessary evacuation of Captain Pierce, the fight was discontinued and the planes returned to Ocotal.  Captain Pierce was given first aid and sent to Managua by transport plane for further medical treatment.

After refueling and replenishing ammunition and bombs, undaunted, the two planes, one with Chief Marine Gunner Wodarczyk, pilot, and Private Vincent E. Murphy, Fifth Regiment, as relief observer, and the other with Second Lieut. McHugh, pilot, and Gunner Sergeant Tobin, observer, immediately returned to the Murra region, and resumed the attack.  Private Murphy, Fifth Regiment, who had never been in an airplane before, volunteered to take the place of observer vacated by Captain Pierce.  The planes were again fired on by bandits located in eight different houses and the brush in the immediate vicinity, and for twenty-five minutes these aviators, with marked courage and great skill, attacked the houses and brush, flying dangerously low, and apparently inflicting heavy damage on the outlaws.  During this engagement, both planes were struck by rifle and machine gun fire, five hits taking effect.  Ammunition having been expended and with gas running low, the attack was, of necessity, discontinued and the planes returned to Managua for replenishment of fuel and ammunition.

Immediately after the planes had been serviced, Gunner Wodarczyk, pilot, with Gunnery Sergeant M. K. Kurtz, observer, and Lieut. McHugh, pilot, with Private First Class Arthur H. Bourne, observer, again took off and returned to Murra.  Searching out the bandits with great skill, they again located them, and while being fired on from many houses, concentrated their attack on the largest house of the group, from which a heavy fire was emanating, and flying very low, they attacked it with bombs and machine gun fire with apparently excellent results.  During this attack Gunner Wodarczyk's plane had one of its flying wires shot away, and Lieut. McHugh's plane received two more direct hits from bandit fire.  Despite this heavy, dangerous, and persistent enemy resistance, and with damaged and bullet ridden planes, Gunner Wodarczyk and Lieut. McHugh continued their attack on the bandit forces, strafing them with machine gun fire and dropping bombs until, due to a shortage of ammunition and gas and the approach of darkness, they were forced to return to Ocotal.

 

In these attacks, carried on without the assistance of ground forces, and in a region where a forced landing would have meant almost certain death, Gunner Wodarczyk and Lieut. McHugh, with great skill and exceptional courage, on three separate occasions, on the same day, attacked a large enemy force estimated at about 150 well armed men, and apparently inflicted numerous casualties on them.

3.  Upon receipt of word of the action in the vicinity of Murra, one 02U-1 airplane, with Second Lieut. Frank H. Lamson-Scribner, pilot, and Second Lieut. Clarence J. Chappell, observer, was immediately dispatched to Murra to reinforce the planes piloted by Gunner Wodarczyk and Lieut. McHugh.  Taking off from Managua at 2:55 p.m., on 19 March, Lieut. Lamson-Scribner reached Murra about 3:20 p.m., and flying singly in a region where a forced landing would have meant almost certain death, sought out and attacked a group of bandits about three miles north of that place, successfully bombing and strafing the ground in their immediate vicinity, with marked skill and great courage.  Having expended his supply of ammunition and bombs, Lieut. Lamson-Scribner, with his plane returned to Ocotal.

 

4.  In view of the skill and courage displayed in the above mentioned action, it is recommended that the following named officers and enlisted men be cited in Brigade Orders for the parts played by them therein:

Chief Marine Gunner Michael Wodarczyk

Second Lieut. James B. McHugh

Second Lieut. Frank H. Lamson-Scribner

Captain Francis E. Pierce

First Lieut. Vernon M. Guymon

First Lieut. Franklin G. Cowie

Gunnery Sergeant M. K. Kurtz

Gunnery Sergeant Patrick H. Tobin

Private First Class Arthur H. Bourne

Private Vincent E. Murphy

Corporal Norcross.

5.  I am of the opinion that Chief Gunner Michael Wodarczyk and Second Lieut. James B. McHugh should be given some distinguished award for the exceptional courage and great skill displayed by them, as outlined above, in their three aerial attacks on the bandit forces in the Murra region while under heavy fire, on 19 March.

 

/s/  R. H. Dunlap

 

 

Source:  212/1

 

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26 March 1928.  Captain Archibald.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

26 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #1

Captain Archibald

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

The area patrolled appeared normal except many pack trains were observed along the Tuma River Valley.  Some of these were moving north and some south.  Planes circled over all of them but the escorts at no time appeared afraid and did not hide.  About six miles north by east of Los Robles there were about forty horses in one corral and five mounted horsemen were at the ranch house.  Planes circled down low and four men were standing in the yard, three of whom went into the house.  One man remained in the yard and watched the plane as it circled down low.  Plane returned to this place at least five times while in this area, as this looked very suspicious.  The last time the plane came over three of the mounted horsemen had entered the corral.  As the plane came near, these horsemen dismounted, tied their saddle animals under a tree and all three men went to working among the herd endeavoring to catch some of the horses.  No signs of any firing were observed and there did not appear to be any hostilities, although the place looked suspicious.  At all the coffee fincas north of the Tuma River area, appeared more deserted than usual.  Small washings were observed at most of them however.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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28 March 1928.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner & Lt. Williamson.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

28 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Lamson-Scribner, Lt. Williamson

 

... Two O2U-1 airplanes ...

 

1055 - Headwaters of the Pantasma River:  The Pantasma River Valley as a whole is suspicious, the most suspicious section is at the headwaters of the river. ...

 

The Pantasma Valley is very suspicious.  There are an unusually large number of horses in the valley and the horses are in small groups near the various native huts.  No saddled horses were seen.  In spite of all indications pointing to the presence of people at all huts, such as smoke and fires, drying clothes, etc., none were able to be seen.  At one point in the valley a small native pack train was observed.  It consisted of three loaded animals and two men.  On the approach of the plane the animals were turned loose and ran down the trail; the men stood on the trail.  Nothing further developed.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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28 March 1928.  Lt. Guymon & Sgt. Pabst. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

28 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #2

Lt. Guymon, Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two OC-1 airplanes ...

 

1010 - Three miles south of the Coco River, near El Arco:  A band of approximately twenty-five outlaws, with fifteen saddled horses and ten pack animals, were observed.  On the approach of the planes some of the outlaws ran for the horses and took them into the brush.  Eight or ten ran for the house.  The planes dropped four (4) bombs, two (2) going through the roof of the house and the other two (2) into the bushes nearby.  Several animals were killed.  The planes circled for several minutes but no one was seen to leave the house.  Casualties inflicted:  Unknown.  The planes came upon the outlaws before they were aware of their presence and one sub-caliber machine gun and several rifles were observed.  The El Arco mentioned is on the sketch by Lieut. Scheibler.

1055 - Four miles southwest of San Juan de Telpaneca:  A pack train of about thirty-three loaded animals were observed going south.  Planes circled low but no hostile actions were noted or any arms seen.

 

1100 - San Juan de Telpaneca:  Appeared deserted.  Approximately thirty men were seen working at the different coffee plantations in the vicinity.  Several large piles of what appeared to be coffee was observed in front of the houses. ...

 

A total of four (4) bombs and 300 rounds of ammunition were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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29 March 1928.  Major Rowell. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

29 March 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Ross E. Rowell

 

... One 02U airplane ...

 

The Pantasma River Valley was more nearly normal than at any time recently.  Houses where people were hiding a few days ago were quite normal.  Many horses have disappeared and the number of cattle were fewer.  People came out of the houses and showed themselves, Nicaraguan and white flags were flying at several houses.  At one house a man came out and after making an elaborate bow removed his hat and displayed a bandaged head. ... Chipote was normal, although two new huts were observed on the west slope. ... The Tamis River probably has some outlaw population.  The houses in that valley are too plentifully supplied with stock.  The country northeast of Yali appeared more nearly normal than usual.  The villages near the scene of yesterday's air attack (El Arco) are well decorated with white flags. 

 

Generally speaking the outlaw area shows less signs of activity than has been observed in many days.  Either there has been a general dispersing of groups on account of the heavy air attacks or because of the approaching religious holiday. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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1 April 1928.  Lt. McHugh. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

1 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. McHugh

 

... One CO-1 airplane ...

 

1130 - Pataste:  Panel "Bandits North" laid out.  Reconnoitered area designated and ground strafed area with machine gun fire.  Nothing was developed.  The area designated is very heavily wooded and the ground could not be seen. ...

 

Reconnoitered area around Blandon and on the table land about five miles west of Blandon, a dead native was seen lying on the ground under a tree.  The plane circled low, and from the appearance of the body it looked as though he had recently died as no buzzards or other carrion were seen.  A wound could be seen in the side of the head and from the fresh blood seen, had evidently been wounded in the side.  A red handkerchief was lying nearby and undoubtedly this man was one wounded in yesterday's action. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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2 April 1928.  Major Rowell & Sgt. Pabst.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

2 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #1

Major Ross E. Rowell, Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1015 - Pataste: ... Examined a village on the north side of the pass.  It was filled with men, women, and children and when the planes approached a near panic occurred among the people.  They rushed from place to place, falling over each other, and waving anything they could get.  It was very evident that outlaws were very close and that the villagers were in great fear of an attack by the planes.  The air currents were so violent that the planes were almost unmanageable ...

 

1340 - Santa Fe Ranch:  No one in sight.  No horses visible but a large herd of cattle was grazing in the pasture.  A group of women were peering from windows in an adjoining shack.  This ranch may be an outlaw hangout, but the only suspicious sign was the absence of population at what is evidently an occupied ranch house of large size.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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3 April 1928.  Lt. McHugh. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

3 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #2

Lt. McHugh

 

... One OC-2 airplane ...

 

1055 - Espino:  Two men and two saddled horses were observed at a shack.  Five other men were seen to run into the house.  Plane circled the house and the two men that were outside started to run into the bushes.  A burst was fired from the rear gun and they ran for the house.  One was seen to fall and crawl into the shack.  Fired a burst through the roof but nothing further was developed. ...

 

The area Somoto-Espino-Pataste appeared suspicious.  Numerous pack animals and stray horses were observed.  The area otherwise patrolled appeared normal.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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3 April 1928.  Marine Gunner Wodarczyk & Sgt. Pabst.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

3 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #1

Chief Marine Gunner Wodarczyk, Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1352 - La Trampa:  Three horses, saddled, were observed tied to a house.  Four or five men and a few women were observed at the house.  About twenty-five saddle animals were in a pasture near the house.  A burst from the front gun was fired into the hillside, but no other men appeared. ...

 

The area patrolled appeared normal with the exception of La Trampa. This area appeared very suspicious due to the large number of horses observed at the house.  The house is a small shack and the only large coffee finca near is about 500 yards away.  This area has been patrolled a number of times and this group of horses have never been observed before.  No arms could be seen on the men at the house, and they did not attempt to hide when the burst was fired into the hill. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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4 April 1928.  Lt. Schilt & Lt. Williamson.  Captain Archibald, Lt. Schilt, & Lt Williamson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

4 April 1928

 

Report of Air Missions

Lt. Schilt, Lt. Williamson.  Cap. Archibald, Lt. Schilt, Lt. Williamson.

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

0915 - Village on east side of mountain ten miles south-southwest of Matagalpa:  Observed about twenty-five men standing in the doorways of the houses.  Three men were seen standing on the road, one armed with a rifle and the other two, with machetes.  Upon the close approach of the planes, these men ran inside one of the houses.  This house was strafed with machine gun fire but no one appeared.  About eighteen horses were observed in a field southwest of the village, and in an adjoining field, twelve horses were seen.  The reason that the houses were not bombed, several women and children were present. ...

 

1015 - Village ten miles south-southwest of Matagalpa on east side of mountain:  One man mounted on a good saddle horse was observed rounding up the eighteen horses previously mentioned, assisted by two boys on foot.  Most of the men that were observed on the first reconnaissance of this place had taken cover.  A few women and children were standing in front of the houses.  No arms were seen on the return trip. ...

It is believed that the village reconnoitered at 0915 is occupied by a band of outlaws numbering from twenty-five to forty men, and that these men are mounted and very poorly armed.  No saddles or packs were seen.  It is believed that this is a local band of outlaws.  Approximately fifteen women and ten or twelve children were present.

 

Three 02U-1 airplanes ... made a return flight to village on east side of mountain ten miles south-southwest of Matagalpa.  Upon the arrival of the planes near the village, one plane flew low over the village endeavoring to draw fire.  Two men and two boys were seen, but the planes were not fired on.  One of the men seen was standing under a tree; the other, walking down the road.  The two boys were sitting on a fence.  The planes circled low over the houses endeavoring to draw fire which was unsuccessful.  Four bombs, two of which were duds, were dropped close to the houses.  No people were seen leaving the houses although several women and children could be seen inside.  The horses that were observed in the field southwest of the village on the previous patrol, had been moved to a pasture to the north. ... No bombs were dropped on the houses, due to the presence of the women and children in them. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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5 April 1928.  Major Rowell & Lt. Williamson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

5 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #2

Major Rowell, Lt. Williamson

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1355 - Jocomico:  Twenty or thirty horses were seen at a ranch, and several people could be seen moving about in the large house that was on the ranch.  The fixed gun was fired into the hillside.  One man came out and pointed to the west.  At another large house, a woman and several men were observed.  They remained in front of the house and watched the planes circle. ...

 

1514 - Naranjo:  Several horses and a small group of cattle were observed in the center of town.  The people on the west edge of town stood out and watched the planes circle.  No one was observed in the center of town.  Fixed gun fired a burst into the hillside and still no one appeared in the center of the town.  The people on the west side of town still remained in front of their houses and did not seem excited. 

The area in the vicinity of Jocomico did not appear normal.  A large number of horses were observed and the ranch houses appeared to be filled with people.  The town of Naranjo, also, did not appear normal, due to the lack of people in the center of town.  A number of horses were observed at the houses and one man was seen to run into the house.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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6 April 1928.  Extract From Air Service Report. 

 

Extract from Air Service Report of 6 April 1928

 

1540 - Tagajares-Bentias Area:  One armed bandit and nine others were seen to run into a house.  There were approximately fifty head of cattle and numerous fowls near the house.  Twelve bombs were dropped on and in the vicinity of the house; 1,200 rounds of ammunition were fired near the house, casualties unknown; approximately 25 cattle were hit.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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10 April 1928.  Major Rowell & Lt. Williamson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

10 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Rowell, Lt. Williamson

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1025 - Jocomico:  Seventy-five horses observed at the large ranch.  Two men were in the yard but paid no attention to the planes.  A woman with a baby and two children came out and stood in front of the house.  Plane flew low beside the house and several saddled horses could be observed inside of the house.  Several bursts were fired into the yard of the house but no one paid any attention to them.  Dropped one bomb about 200 yards from the house which was also ignored by the two men. ...

There is good reason to believe there is a group of outlaws at the Jocomico Ranch.  The actions of the persons there appeared abnormal under the circumstances and they were not attacked on account of the women and children. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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12 April 1928.  Lt. Lamson-Scribner & Sgt. Pabst. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

12 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Lamson-Scribner, Sgt. Pabst

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1135 - Two miles east of Murra:  Six horses were observed around a group of three houses and three men were seen to run into the brush.  Four bombs were dropped, two making direct hits on the houses. ...

 

The area patrolled appeared normal with the exception of two miles east of Murra.  Only six horses and three men were observed at this place but it is believed that a larger band is present.  These three houses did not appear to be ranches as they were located in thick brush and at the bottom of a ravine.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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15 April 1928.  Major Rowell. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

15 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Ross E. Rowell

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

1000 - Concordia:  A suspicious appearing group of four or five men were at house just west of the Church.  Two or three horses were inside the house.  Circled and dived on the building two or three times.  Two men came out.  Fired a burst from the front gun over the house, into the hillside.  One of the men drew a revolver and fired twice at the plane.  Fired a burst into the ground at the corner of the house.  One man ran into the house and the other walked casually up the street.  The population of the town all turned out to observe the affair and seemed to understand what was going on.  Repeated attempts to draw fire again failed.  Either of the men seen could easily have been shot with the front gun, but the pilot was not absolutely sure which was the man who had fired.

 

1020 - Esteli:  Landed.  Had a talk with Major Pierce.  Lieut. McHenry had returned with his patrol from Colon.  They made no contacts and stated the opinion that the outlaws are a local group which gathers at intervals.  A message from the new Chief of Police at Trinidad arrived stating that a group of outlaws were on the ranch of Vilchez, the old Chief of Police, yesterday.  The ranch is located near San Lorenzo. ...

It is probable that a small group of men, probably armed with pistols only, were in Concordia this morning.  It is believed that such groups visit that place frequently.  The number of horses present and general appearance of the San Lorenzo section appears to justify the reports of a small outlaw group in that area.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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24 April 1928.  Captain Archibald.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

24 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Captain Archibald

 

... One OC-1 airplane ...

 

1145 - Coffee plantation three miles west of San Juan de Telpaneca:  About 30 men were seen in the courtyard and about six pack animals and four saddle horses.  Plane stayed in the vicinity and kept circling.  The group of men became active and were passing from one building to the other carrying what was evidently sacks of coffee.  They paid no attention to the plane but showed unusual activity in their work, and remained in the open while the plane was in the vicinity. ...

 

Plane made a very close reconnaissance in the vicinity of the north of Yali - Daraili Ranch - San Juan de Telpaneca.  Many of the ranch houses are still flying white flags.  All the fincas seemed to be occupied and were evidenced with much work going on throughout this section.  Many new places have been cleared and burnt over, preparing for coffee planters.  Throughout this area quite a few pack trains, from five to twenty animals in each, were seen, all moving to the north and northeast.  This appeared rather odd.  It is assumed that they should be moving south in the direction of Yali or Daraili, or east toward Jinotega.  These pack trains average about three men with each group. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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30 April 1928.  Major Rowell. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

30 April 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #2

Major Ross E. Rowell

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1000 - Espino:  Town has been recently destroyed.  Proceeded north along the frontier.  Failed to check ground speed carefully and overshot about ten miles into Honduras. ...

 

1445 - Six miles west of Pataste on Pataste-Somoto trail:  Six heavily loaded pack animals, led by four men, were proceeding towards Pataste.  One man ran away and returned towards Somoto.  The other men were greatly agitated and hid their mules under a tree at a nearby ranch house.  All entered the house except one man.  An exceptionally fine looking saddle horse was tied to the porch of the house.  It was apparent there were several more men inside the house.  Fired a short burst of machine gun fire near the house and two women ran out and hid in the brush.  The men remained inside.  The whole party had a very suspicious appearance but no arms could be seen.

1450 - Pataste:  Mr. Mosher was seen rounding up some horses in the pasture lot but did not lay out any panels. ...

 

There are many good ranches along the western border that would afford cover for outlaw groups.  Nothing of a suspicious nature, however, was noted.  There was a report at Ocotal that an outlaw group is assembling in the hills west of Pataste.  This seems to be confirmed by the incident noted above.  There is another report at Ocotal that several dynamite bombs were heard last night near Apali.  Other than the above, everything was reported as quiet in that area.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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5 May 1928.  Lt. Guymon. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

5 May 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #1

Lt. Guymon

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

0820-0835 - Cua Valley:  Possibly eight miles east of Cua, five fincas that appear to be occupied, scattered along the river.  Two men, and four or five women seen in the area. ...

 

0900 - Poteca:  House was flying white flag.  Observed two canoes, several head of cattle, pigs and chickens. ...

 

0935 - Two and one half miles northeast of Murra:  A group of three houses, occupied.  Upon the approach of the plane, four men were seen to run into the brush and hide.  Dropped one bomb and fired about three hundred rounds of ammunition from front and rear guns.  Nothing further was developed. ...

The area east of Cua along the Cua Valley has been deserted since the Marine forces passed through there.  At the present time, there are eight houses occupied.  This area was searched very carefully.  While a few men were seen, no arms or hostile actions were noted.  Fired a few rounds near some of the fincas but nothing was developed.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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5 May 1928.  Lt. Williamson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

5 May 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #3

Lt. Williamson

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1302 - One half mile east of Pataste:   Observed three horses tied up under the porch of a house.  Fired a burst into the hill and circled the house.  One woman and a child came out and walked around.  Patrolled the area for about fifteen minutes and returned to the house and found the horses gone.  Could not locate them on any of the trails or in pasture anywhere. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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15 July 1928.  Air Observation and Air Deductions, Dunlap. 

 

Headquarters

Northern Area, Western Nicaragua, U.S. Marines

Ocotal, Nicaragua

15 July 1928

 

 

From:  The Area Commander, Northern Area, Ocotal, Nicaragua

To:      The Commanding General, 2nd Brigade Marines, Managua, Nicaragua

 

Subject:  Air observation and air deductions.

 

Reference:  (a)  Report of Air Mission, 2 July 1928

                  (b)  Patrol Report of 2nd Lieut. P. L. Thwing, USMC, dated Telpaneca

                         7 July 1928

 

1.  The following is extracted from reference (a):

"Following the trail from San Juan de Telpaneca a highly suspicious group was found near Pericon.  The group was composed entirely of men.  When the planes approached they were all chopping grass and weeds and were trimming trees with machetes in a manner that was notably theatrical.  Upon close investigation it was found that the group occupied a space about one mile along the trail.  Ever man had a machete but no other arms could be seen.  Arms and pack animals could easily have been concealed nearby.  There is no possible excuse for a group of men of that size in the sparsely settled region where they were seen and the labor that they were performing was obviously a sham.  The Area Commander was of the opinion that the circumstances did not justify an air attack.  There can be little doubt that the group seen was an outlaw gang and was proceeding towards San Juan de Telpaneca or Quibuto."

2.  The following is extracted from reference (b):


"All the region visited was peaceful.  The natives were returning to their homes in Balsamo and the Quibuto region.  Fields are being worked and the local jefes are having the trails cleared of brush.  The natives seen and reported on the 2nd July by the airplanes were parties of men who had been clearing the roads.  All these people have been assured repeatedly that they were safe from aeroplanes.  The clearing of the roads makes a great improvement as they dry more quickly and the visibility is much better."

3.  The opinion of the Area Commander (Lt. Col. Rossell) that there was not sufficient evidence to justify attacking these people as bandits, is confirmed.

 

/s/  R. H. Dunlap

 

Source:  220/2

 

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29 Sept 1928.  Major Bourne & Lt. McHugh. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

29 September 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Louis M. Bourne, Lt. McHugh

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1520 - Six miles north of El Rodeo:  Five camp fires were observed in a ravine.  A group of about ten horses were observed tied up near this clearing.  Eight men were observed and one was seen to stamp out the remains of the camp fire as the planes approached.  The vicinity was bombed and ground strafed. ...

 

1535 - A message was dropped to Captain Holmes giving him information that a group of outlaws estimated to be about 25 had been bombed and ground strafed about six miles north of El Rodeo.  At this time he was about one mile from the location and immediately sent a patrol to investigate. ...

 

It is believed that the group observed were part of Salgado's forces and from the number of men and horses observed it is estimated that about 25 men were making camp a short distance off the trail that Captain Holmes was following.  It is believed that the people in this vicinity are friendly to Salgado's.  Several suspicious places were observed, but the people did not seem to be leaving these areas and paid very little or no attention to the planes. 

 

Ten bombs and 400 rounds of ammunition were expended.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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15 Oct 1928.  Major Bourne, Lt. Britt, Lt. Manley, Lt. Weir & Gy. Sgt. Ewalt. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

15 October 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Bourne, Lt. Britt, Lt. Manley, Lt. Weir, Gy. Sgt. Ewalt

 

... Five 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1145 - Captain Edson's Patrol:  One and one half miles east of the headwaters of the Conjogas River and about one and three-fourths miles east of the headwaters of the Tamis River:  Smoke candles and vary lights were observed through the trees but the patrol could not be seen due to the dense underbrush and heavy jungle. ...

 

The Murra-Tamis area was reconnoitered.  Several suspicious places were ground strafed but nothing was developed.  Signs of cultivation were observed throughout the area but no people were seen.  What appeared to be a deserted campsite of several nipa shacks was located on the headwaters of the south branch of the Tamis River.  No people or signs of occupation could be seen. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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21 Oct 1928.  Lt. Bourne. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

21 October 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Bourne

 

 ... One 02U-1 airplane ...

 

1025 - Observed a very [sic] pistol shot from jungle two miles from mouth of Congojos River.  Taken to be a patrol of Captain Edson's. ...

 

Three miles north of Ramongon, two natives with about four horses were seen to hide in the brush upon the approach of the planes.  The vicinity was ground strafed and nothing was developed. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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24 Oct 1928.  Lt. Williamson, Sgt. Frith. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

24 October 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Williamson, Sgt. Frith

 

... Two OC-1 airplanes ...

 

1200 - Santa Amelia [on Honduran border west of San Lucas and Somoto] ... Lieut. Cartwright and Lieut. Schubert's patrols.  Dropped mail which was retrieved.  Panels "Fired On" - "Rations" - "Enemy North" laid out.  Then asked when fired on, displayed panel "A.M."  Reconnoitered the area to the north.  About a half mile north there were about 30 horses in a pasture.  No men were seen in the area near the horses.  The houses appeared deserted.  Five miles to the north, three houses were seen with saddled horses, one in each yard.  Families were in the yards, and in two cases, the man was carrying a baby in his arms.  Fired a burst of machine gun fire near several of the houses but nothing developed.  Returned to the patrol and informed them of the horses.  Panel "Three Days Rations" laid out. ...

 

25 October 1928.

0900 ... Reconnoitered the area La Rica - Constancia - All small houses appeared deserted.  The large ranches were occupied, flying white flags. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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31 Oct 1928.  Lt. Towner, Captain Howard. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

31 October 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Towner & Captain Howard

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

The Guasaneras Valley has a number of small nipa huts and clearings that have been built up during this rainy season.  Corn is principally grown.  Approximately one hundred head of cattle are feeding in the valley.  During the dry season there were no cattle in the entire valley.

 

The Cua Valley from the junction of the Guasaneras to Bocacito also has a number of nipa huts and clearings that were built at the same time as those in the Guasaneras.  At each of these huts a white flag was flying.  Several women and children came out of each place on approach of the planes.  Cattle in this valley are not as numerous as in the Guasaneras, but there are many more than ordinary.  The food grown in these two valleys is much more than would normally be used by the inhabitants.

 

The area Guiguili-Murra-Chipote-Ramongo has a great many patches of corn and beans, with only half as many houses as there should be for the amount of cultivation.  All of these houses show signs of occupancy but no people have ever been seen at any of the clearings.  The normal conclusion is that the food stuff grown is still in the area, probably stored by the bandits in dug-outs or other forms of shelter in the woods as most of the trails are not wide enough to permit big pack trains to travel there. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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1 Nov 1928.  Captain Howard & Sgt Frith.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

1 November 1928

 

Report of Air Missions

Captain Howard, Sgt. Frith

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ... to the Southern Area and return.

 

0840 - Managua:  Took off.

0920 - Matagalpa:  Dropped mail which was retrieved.

0930 - Jinotega:  Panel "Marine Patrol North" laid out.  Dropped mail which was retrieved.

0940 - Sisle:  Panel "Nothing To Report" laid out.

0950 - Santa Fe:  Lieut. Jack's patrol.  Panel "Nothing To Report" laid out.  Dropped mail which was retrieved.

1000 - Bocadero:  Over seventy-five people, mostly women and children, were seen on the roads within a radius of two miles.  From the brightness of their attire it would seem that they were on their way to some festivity. ...

 

Reconnoitered the Guaseneras - Cua - Coco and Guiguili River area.  Signs of outlaws were found along the Cua River.  There were indications of outlaws along the Guiguili River.  Four horses were seen at Guiguili.  About two miles from the Coco River, along the Cua River, a large raft was drawn up on the bank.  The raft and area were bombed and strafed but no outlaws were seen.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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1 Nov 1928.  Lt. Williamson & Sgt Kail. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

1 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission #2

Lt. Williamson, Sgt. Kail

 

... Two OC-1 airplanes ...

 

0815 - Managua:  Took off.

0920 - Ocotal:  Landed.

0930 - Ocotal:  Took off with Lt. Cartwright as observer in one plane.

1010 - Mylote:  The general area was suspicious.  At one house a burst from the free gun was fired into the hillside nearby.  One native jumped from the house and dove into the bush.  A bomb was dropped in the bush, but it is believed the native escaped.

1015 - Guayabal:  Area appeared suspicioius. ...

 

The general area Guayabal - Mylote appeared very suspicious.  No bandits were seen.  Practically no natives were seen, although all houses gave every indication of being occupied.  Only three horses were seen in the entire area.  Corrals at many of the houses to the border were filled with catle.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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14 Nov 1928.  Pilots Unknown. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

14 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission ...

 

Special message addressed "General A. C. Sandino" were dropped at the following places:  Las Flores (Guasaneras River) - mouth of Rio Rica - coffee ranch on Cua River - Murra and two houses southeast of Murra near headwaters of Guiguili River.  Handbills were dropped throughout the area covered north of the Tuma River.  Along the trail from Caraterra to Guapinol it appears as though the inhabitants have been disturbed by bandit rumors or activities.  The area southeast from Murra to Guiguili, while not showing well recognized signs of bandit occupation, is believed to be settled by natives who assist in supply and intelligence to outlaws. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 Nov 1928.  Louis M. Bourne, Jr.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

[pilots unknown, signed by Louis M. Bourne, Jr.]

 

... At Guapinol seven horses and mules were observed.  Two were saddled and tied to the building.  Two or three saddles were observed under a shed.  A woman and child were standing in the doorway of the house.  A short burst was fired near the house but nothing was developed.  More people than usual were observed in the Caraterra area.  Lt. Sneed's patrol could not be located.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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21 Nov 1928.  Louis M. Bourne, Jr.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

21 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

[pilots unknown; signed by Louis M. Bourne, Jr.]

 

... A reconnaissance was made ahead of Lieut. Kenyon's and Captain Phipp's patrols.  The house at Guapinol where horses and mules and saddles were seen yesterday, was flying a white flag, and appeared deserted.  Due to shortage of time only a short search was made for Lieut. Ostick (GN) and Lieut. McDonald (GN) patrols but neither could be located.

 

While working with Captain Hall's patrol occasion was taken to thoroughly patrol the Guasaneras and Cua Valleys.  Nothing suspicous was observed.  The area surrounding Ramongon is very suspicious.  Every indication of inhabitants in the area, such as smoke from the houses, washing out to dry and extensively cultivated corn fields, yet no people were observed in the area.  There is every indication leading to believe that the area surrounding Ramongon is a bandit area and Ramongon itself the headquarters.

 

Source:  220/2

 

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25 Nov 1928.  Major Bourne & Sgt Frith. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

25 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Major Bourne & Sgt Frith

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1220-1230 - Bombed and ground strafed the area of the headwaters of the north branch of the Guiguili River.  Fired area five miles square and eight miles due east of Captain Linehard's patrol.  No persons were seen.  One horse ran out of one house. ...

 

The Guasaneras and Cua area was reconnoitered but nothing suspicious was observed.  The area bombed and ground strafed looked suspicious.  This is the first time a horse has been seen in this area.  Balance of the area patrolled appeared normal.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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26 Nov 1928.  Louis M. Bourne, Jr.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

26 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

[pilots unknown, signed by Louis M. Bourne, Jr.]

 

... 1230 - Three miles west of junction of Cua and Guasaneras Rivers:  Twenty (20) outlaws seen running from house into brush.  Dropped two bombs but both were duds.  This group was seen by the escort ship while leader was working with Captain Hall.  Both ships returned to the area at 1240 but no trace of outlaws could bee seen. ...

 

The area northeast of Pavona appeared suspicious. ... The entire Cua River Valley was reconnoitered but nothing suspicious was seen.  Several suspicious places in the area southeast of Chipote were bombed and ground strafed.  Nothing was developed.

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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28 Nov 1928.  Captain Howard & St. Hull. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

28 November 1928

 

Report of Air Mission

Captain Howard, Sgt. Hull

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1100 - Guiguili ...

 

1125 - West of Santa Helena:   Observed seven horses and mules, also two small bands of three or four horses in each.  Evidence of several campfires under trees could be seen in vicinity of house.  Area looked very suspicious.  Unusually large number of cattle.  Area was bombed and strafed but nothing was developed. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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4 Dec 1928.  Captain Howard & Lt. Britt. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

4 December 1928

 

Report of Air Missions

Captain Howard, Lt. Britt

 

... Two 0C-1 airplanes ...

 

The area in the vicinity of Murra was reconnoitered very carefully.  Several suspicious shacks were observed and the vicinity of them was bombed and ground strafed but nothing was developed. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 Dec 1928.  Major Bourne & Sgt Hull.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 December 1928

 

Report of Air Missions

Major Bourne, Sgt. Hull; Captain Howard & Lt. Williamson

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ... [two missions]

 

The headwaters of the Guiguili River were carefully searched.  Several suspicious places were bombed and ground strafed.  The area on the ridge between the Pantasma and La Rica Rivers from Pavona to Jinotega plain was carefully searched for General Plata's vigilante patrol but it could not be located. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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21 Dec 1928.  Lt. Britt & Sgt. Frith. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

21 December 1928

 

Report of Air Missions

Lt. Britt, Sgt. Frith

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

Bombs were dropped near several suspicious places in the Murra area, but as a whole, both the San Juan de Telpaneca and Murra areas appeared very quiet. ...

 

... One OC-1 airplane, Major Bourne, piolot, solo, took off Managua 0835 ...

 

About eight miles due east of Quilali on south slope of mountains, within a radius of about one mile, about 40 horses were observed.  Vicinity was bombed and ground strafed.  Nothing was developed.  Some of the houses nearby were deserted and some showed signs of occupancy but no one was observed. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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10 Jan 1929.  Lt. Williamson & Lt. Britt. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

10 January 1929

 

Report of Air Mission

Lt. Williamson, Lt. Britt

 

... Two 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

The area Pavona - Las Vegas - Constancia was thoroughly reconnoitered.  At a house northeast of Las Vegas, a pack train of four bulls, packed, one horse and a man was observed.  On the approach of the planes, the pack train was driven into the woods.  A few shots were fired into the brush but due to the dense woods the pack train could not be seen.  The man with this pack train was the only person observed in the entire area.

 

In the northeast end of the Pantasma Valley the houses are occupied and the people are moving about, but in the lower part of the valley no one was observed at any of the houses. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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12 Jan 1929.  Major Louis M. Bourne, Jr. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

12 January 1929

 

Report of Air Mission

[pilots unknown; signed by Major Louis M. Bourne, Jr.]

 

... Trinidad area was carefully searched and nothing suspicious observed.  Traffic appeared to be above normal between San Isidro and Trinidad.  The headwaters of the Guiguili River and area southeast of Murra were bombed and ground strafed.  Several houses in this area showed signs of recent use but no persons were seen. ...

 

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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19 June 1930.  Captain Johnson & Lt.Young. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

19 June 1930

 

Report of Air Missions

Capt. Johnson, Lt. Young

 

... Two OC-2 airplanes ...

 

0940 - Managua:  Took off.

1025 - Jinotega:  Panel "Nothing to report" displayed.  Made patrol of San Rafael, Concordia, and Yucapuca mountain areas.

1130 - Western slope of Yucapuca Mt.:  Sighted Guardia patrol.  Panel "Bandits one mile east" laid out.  The patrol had one wounded man on a stretcher.

1135 - Top of Yucapuca Mt.:  Contact was made with about fifty bandits with red hat bands.  Planes were fired upon by rifles and at least one machine gun.  Planes returned fire and dropped eight bombs.  Rear guns were fired until they jammed. ...

 

1200 - Yucapuca Mt.:  ... Planes then made contact with bandits once more and returned fire until ammunition was exhausted.  Casualties to the bandits estimated at three dead.  Total hits on planes, six. ...

 

Five 02U-1 and one 0C-2 airplanes, Major Mitchell, pilot, with Gy. Sgt. Kyle, observer, and Capt. Johnson, pilot, with Cpl. Saylor, observer, Lieut. Fike, pilot, with Cpl. Brown, observer, Lt. Young, pilot, with Sgt. Smith, observer, Lt. Hart, pilot, with Lt. Megee, observer, took off Managua and carried out a reconnaissance mission to the Yucapuca Mt. area and return.

 

1420 - Managua:  Took off.  Flew through rain and clouds to Yucapuca Mt.

1510 - Yucapuca Mt.:  Remained in vicinity, dropped bombs and fired machine guns until 1630, when engagement was broken off.  A total of fifty-eight bombs were dropped.  During course of engagement three GN ground patrols were sighted.  One of fifteen men just to the south of Yucapuca Mt., were apparently returning to Jinotega.  They were carrying a wounded man on a stretcher.  Another patrol of twenty-five men was located just northwest of Yucapuca Mt.  This patrol remained in ambush during engagement and moved off about 1620 toward Jinotega.  This patrol requested by panel that planes bomb the mountain.

The third patrol was located just northeast of Jinotega flying field, en route apparently to enforce other patrols.  This patrol requested information as to location of other patrols.  The location was indicated by drop message.

 

During engagement every house on top of mountain was fired upon and all patches of woods were thoroughly raked.  A total of fifteen bandits were seen on the mountain and five dead were counted after the engagement.  A number of bandits on the ground were seen to fire their rifles at the planes. two of these were killed by return fire.  A total of four bullet holes were found in the various planes after the engagement.  Numerous cows, horses, pack animals and several horses which were saddled, were also observed. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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20 June 1930.  Sgt. Geer, Et Al. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

20 June 1930

 

 

Report of Air Missions

Sgt. Geer, Sgt. Word, Lt. Pugh, Major Mitchell, Capt. Evans, Lt. Norman

 

... One 02U-1 airplane ... One TA-1 airplane ... One 0C-2 airplane ... Three 02U-1 airplanes ...

 

1940 - Yucapuca Mt.:  Fired into houses and tried in every way to bring fire from possible bandits.  Nothing suspicious was observed except fresh tracks around houses and on trails.  Three men were observed in field at base of mountain and three women were seen near houses.  None made any attempt to seek cover.  All houses on top of mountain were deserted. ...

 

Planes searched the mountain carefully and found the houses on top of the mountain now occupied by people.  These were mostly women and two men were seen near the houses.  No evidence of hostility was shown.  The lack of fear of the planes shown by the people was so marked as to make it seem that they were acting. ...

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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21 June 1930.  Extract from Weekly Operations Report.  Mitchell. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

21 June 1930

 

 

Extract from Weekly Operations Report.

 

OPERATIONS:

 

          Flying time 119 hours and 25 minutes; flights 98; passengers carried 48; freight transported 16,480 pounds.

 

          Thursday, June 19, 1930, saw a big surprise party in honor of Sandino by the pilots and crew chiefs of Aircraft Squadrons, Second Brigade, and carried through to a glorious ending.  It began when Captain Johnson, piloting an OC-2, with Gunnery Sergeant Kyle as observer, and Lieutenant Young, in the same type of ship, with Colonel Wynn (GN) as a passenger, took off at Managua, Nicaragua, to carry out a reconnaissance and liaison mission to the Southern Area.

 

          At 1025 a panel displayed by Jinotega troops was sighted stating "Nothing to Report."  The two ships proceeded to patrol San Rafael, Concordia, and Yuca Puca areas and were returning to Jinotega when a Guardia patrol was sighted on the western slope of Yuca Puca mountain displaying a panel "Bandits One Mile East."  The patrol appeared to have been in contact with an enemy earlier as it bore a wounded man on a stretcher.

 

          Following the panel arrow Captain Johnson and Kyle picked up a group of fifty bandits almost immediately, entrenched behind a stone fence on Yuca Puca mountain.  Contrary to the usual custom these bandits, gaily bedecked with bright red hat bands, did not run for cover at first but stood their ground and replied to the machine gun fire from the planes.

 

          Captain Johnson's plane was literally raked with fire from the undergrowth.  One bullet, striking the propeller hub, tore itself through the nose cowling while a second one struck the cowling on the opposite edge smashing it against the motor.  A third bullet from the right side of the ship penetrated the lower right wing in an exact direction of the observer but was deflected by the wing gun and tore through the upper right wing.

 

          This bullet missed the suspended bombs by exactly two inches.  A fourth struck and broke a rib in the horizontal stabilizer.  How the first and second bullets found their destination without shattering the propeller is still the principal topic of conversation and speculation among the ground crews.  To say the least, it was a miraculous escape for the pilot and observer.

 

          While maneuvering for position to return more effectively the fire from the ground, Johnson's ship was struck by a large zopilote [buzzard] which crushed the leading edge of the already bullet-ridden lower right wing and nearly caused the ship to crash in the midst of the enemy.  With great presence of mind and excellent skill the plane was righted and thus Johnson and his observer were saved from death for the second time in as many minutes.

 

          Upon gaining a position to attack, the ships raked the top of the mountain with fire until a jammed gun caused the leading ship to resort to other means.  Eight bombs, the entire lot carried, were dropped very effectively and the planes returned to Jinotega to repair the jammed guns and discharge Colonel Wynn (GN).  At Jinotega the guns were repaired and Lieutenant Marcos (GN) was picked up.  The ships then returned to the scene of the contact where they again engaged in exchange of fire until their supply of ammunition was exhausted, whereupon messages were dropped to the Guardia patrol directing them to return to Jinotega immediately, and informing them that a patrol was being sent north to meet them.

 

          The exact number of casualties to the bandits could not be determined due to the fact that they acquired their dead and wounded and carried them to cover.  However, three are known to have been killed at this time, as they were left lying in the open when a burst of machine gun fire drove a group to cover too quickly to permit them to take their dead.

 

          The ships then returned to Managua where they were examined and found to have been hit a total of six times.  Captain Johnson's ship was so badly damaged it was immediately ordered out of commission.  Lieutenant Young's plane was hit once in the morning encounter.

          Six ships were immediately ordered serviced and made ready for a return trip to Yuca Puca.  Bombs were obtained from the pits; machine guns were installed; parachutes brought and adjusted; motors were turned up while the crews of the first two ships partook of coffee and sandwiches, and within three hours from the time of the morning encounter, one OC-2 and five O2U-1 type ships were back at the scene with 60 bombs and five thousand rounds of small ammunition, having flown through one of the worst storms in the past two weeks from Managua to Jinotega.

 

          The six ships, in two formations consisting of three ships each, took off Managua at 1420.  The first formation was led by Captain Johnson with Corporal Saylor as observer, Major Mitchell with Gunnery Sergeant Kyle as observer and Lieutenant Hart with Lieutenant Megee as observer.  The second formation was led by Lieutenant Young with Sergeant Smith as observer, Lieutenant Fike with Corporal Brown as observer, and Marine Gunner Pounders, with Gunnery Sergeant Van as observer.  Arriving at Yuca Puca they engaged in battle with the remaining bandits for one hour and twenty minutes.  During the engagement every house on the mountain top was swept with fire until no one could have survived within.

 

          All patches of wooded land were raked with fire from the ship's guns and bombs dropped until the mountain top took on appearance of a field in Flanders.  After barely one and one-half hours of this bombardment not a living thing, other than frightened milling cattle and horses, could be discerned upon the mountain top.

 

          Again the true effectiveness of the fire could not be determined as the excellent cover afforded the bandits by the thick undergrowth, but it is known that many were killed or wounded in the afternoon engagement, for at one time a group of about fifteen emerged to fire at the ships and were surprised from another angle forcing them to again take cover leaving four of their dead lying in the open.

 

          Again, in the afternoon, as in the morning, the fire of at least one machine gun could be heard from the woods but its nest cold not be located.  The nature of the terrain afforded excellent operating conditions for machine guns at this point, in as much as a machine gun could not be clearly heard above the din of the motors to locate it.  The fact that the open field was almost completely surrounded by woods and the woods by sheer drops on three sides would have afforded an excellent target for the use of gas.

 

          The patrol arrived at the Managua airdrome at 1710 with no casualties but four hits scored on the ships by the bandits.  All the hits were well placed and would indicate a possession of knowledge, on the part of the bandits, as to the vital parts of the ship to which a bullet would do most damage.  As one observer put it, "Those darn bandits seem to know their onions when it comes to hitting ships."

 

          In the afternoon engagement one of the ships (Lieutenant Hart) received two hits entitling it to two more red stars in addition to the eight already enscribed beneath the scarf mount for hits on former occasions.

 

          Various and conflicting tales are being told with a view to proving, each man himself, the better gunner.  Even the pilots are wont to emphasize the manner in which you must drop a bomb in order to make it hit just right.  To quote one of the pilots who, by the way of identification, was a member of the morning patrol, other than Captain Johnson, "Dawgone, if I didn't drop one that hit right square in the middle of a group of about eight."

 

          Friday morning, a patrol of three ships, Major Mitchell, Captain Evans and Lieutenant Norman, pilots, was despatched to the scene of Thursday's activities and reported the area to be practically devoid of human habitation.

 

          Later reports indicate that Yuca Puca, scene of Thursday's encounter, was the stronghold of Sandino.  For the past three weeks this bandit leader has been reported in Nicaragua, but no definite information of his exact location could be obtained.  Facts point toward a gradual concentration at this place with the eventual plan of striking a telling blow at the city of Jinotega and it is believed that everything was set for this attack when the group was finally discovered and dispersed on Thursday by the airplanes.

 

          Emphasis is again laid on the fact that the situation, as developed, offered a splendid opportunity for the use of non-poisonous gas.  The terrain was more or less open, but was dotted with clumps of jungle in which the bandits took refuge but in which they could not be picked out as individuals from the air.  Gas would have forced them into the open where they could have been destroyed.

 

          A brief analysis of the week's engagements shows the following:

Number of aerial contacts                                       3

Bullet holes in planes                                              10

Bombs dropped                                                    59   17 lb.

Bombs dropped                                                      7    30 lb.

Small arms ammunition expended                       4300   Rds.

Dead bandits counted from air                                 7

Estimated bandits on mountain                              200

Estimated dead and wounded                                30

Marine personnel injured in air contacts                none

          Honors for the week go to Captain "Johnie" Johnson whose plane was hit seven times by bandits and once by a zopilote in the contacts.  Not satisfied with this distinction, however, Johnnie and Lieutenant Norman proceeded on Saturday to acquire further fame by qualifying for membership in the "Order of the Flying Jackasses," a local fraternal organization of amphibian pilots who have landed "sans" wheels.

 

          Saturday morning hurry calls were received for spinal meningitis serum at Puerto Cabezas and reinforcement for the Guardia at Esteli.  Two OL-8 planes, piloted by Captains Evans and Johnson, were despatched to Puerto Cabezas and were reported in at the latter place at 1320.  Twenty-four Guardia troops were transported to Esteli by Fokker and thus ended the busiest week here for a good many days.

ORDNANCE:

 

          The ordinary routine during the past week was disturbed by the sudden appearance of a large group of bandits on the Yuca Puca mountain.  During the engagement which ensued, between the planes of the morning patrol and bandits, eight 17 pound bombs were expended and approximately three hundred rounds of ammunition.  Six hits were scored by the bandits, five in one plane, and one in the other.

 

          Upon the return of these ships, two, a flight of six ships was made ready to resume activities.  A call for sixty bombs and forty-five hundred rounds of ammunition was made upon the Ordnance Department.  In the record time of thirty minutes forty of the above mentioned bombs were removed from their boxes in the magazine, fused and hung on the ships.  The belts with four hundred rounds of ammunition each, which are kept continuously in the ammunition boxes of the Brownings on each of the five Corsairs, were fed into the guns; the Lewis guns with three pans of ammunition each were installed; and the remainder of the bombs, twenty, including seven thirty-pounders, were hung.  In all the ships were fully equipped within forty-five minutes.

          Of the bombs taken out, fifty-eight were expended, and approximately forty three hundred rounds of ammunition.  This time four more hits were scored by the bandits, in two of the planes.  Everything worked well with the exception of a broken sear in one of the Lewis guns.  Few duds were observed among the bombs dropped.

 

                      /s/   R. J. Mitchell.

 

 

 

Source:  220/2

 

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24 Sept 1930.  Weekly Operations Report. 

 

Headquarters

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

24 September 1930

 

From:  The Commanding Officer

To:      The Officer in Charge of Aviation, Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps, Washington DC

 

Subject:  Weekly Operations Report.

 

OPERATIONS:

 

Enclosed herewith are the Reports of the Daily Air Missions and the Weekly Record of Events of this Organization for the week ending Saturday, 20 September, 1930.

 

Flying time 130 hours and 55 minutes; flights 134; passengers carried 51; freight transported 26,805 pounds.

 

Captain Mulcahy and Lieutenant Mauley were the recipients of hearty congratulations on Saturday when they completed another successful trip from Philadelphia to this station ferrying a much needed Fokker transport.  This plane is one that has been in prior service in Nicaragua, but having been overhauled and fitted out with more powerful motors should prove a welcome addition to the existing complement.

 

The usual East Coast trip in the interest of the Electoral Mission was completed without incident.  The head of the local bank, Mr. Sitartz was ferried both ways in the interest of the Nicaraguan government as well as the customary amount of official mail and supplies.

 

Captain Zane, AC, USA, the area inspector for the Department of Commerce spent two days on the station during the week giving examinations for commercial pilot and mechanic licenses.  A large number of officers and men availed themselves of the opportunity to qualify.

 

On Friday afternoon our energetic engineer officer, Lieutenant Fike availed himself of the opportunity to answer a hurry call from the Northern Area for machine gun ammunition at Esteli.  The results of the emergency trip may best be judged by quoting the following telegram received the next day:

"Request the name of the aviator who hauled the ammunition to Esteli comma we bagged eight and the end is not yet in sight."

Contacts between Guardia and bandits still continue with frequency, but the enemy persists in their old tactics of concealing themselves from airplanes with such skill that no aerial brushes have taken place in the last six weeks.  It would appear that the high rate of casualties amongst bandits, due to Guardia and aircraft activities, during the past six months would soon cause the outlaws to see the light.  That such is becoming the case is indicated by the increasing number of requests for amnesty from bandits during the preceding two months.

 

A radiogram from Major R. E. Davis at Matagalpa for serum to be used as immediate treatment for one of his children was answered by an emergency airplane drop and elicited a letter from this officer assuring us that due to our prompt assistance the child was doing nicely.

ENGINEERING:

 

OC-1, No. 7946 is to have its first test hop since its return to these Squadrons, this morning.

 

The Erection Shop is installing a new center erection, new lower right wing, new flippers and new motor in O2U-1, #7529.

 

Gunner Sergeant D'Ariano and Sergeant Geiser of the Metalsmith Shop made one bracket, front cowl, front; one bracket, front cowl, rear; one ring, cowl, rear; one cowling and ring cowling, for OC-1, No. 7945.  The making of these parts at this station saved a great deal of time in the erection of the ship, that would otherwise have been lost in obtaining parts from the States.

Gunnery Sergeant Bird, of the Machine Shop has developed a reamer aligning guide for reaming baffle plates on Pratt and Whitney motors.  This guide insures a parallel hole in relation to the blower section.

 

AEROLOGICAL:

 

Rainfall for the past week was very light for this season of the year.  The total being 0.56 inches.  Thunderstorms on the 15th, 16th, and 18th.

 

COMMUNCATIONS:

 

The rebuilding of our #2 short wave transmitter is almost completed.  With this practically new set, it is hoped to greatly increase the efficiency of our communications with stations in the States. ...

 

 

Source: 43A/17/27.5

 

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6 Nov 1930.  Lt. Young & Staff Sgt. Williams. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

6 November 1930

 

Report of Air Missions

Lt. Young & Staff Sgt. Williams

 

... Two OC-1 airplanes ...

 

1000 - Matiguas:  Found Guardia barracks burned to the ground.  Dropped note written in Spanish, requesting information as to whether the town was or was not Matiguas.  Had noticed long sticks of wood lying around the plaza, so requested natives to use these in conveying the desired information; two sticks placed in the shape of a cross to signify that the town was Matiguas and one stick to signify that it was not.  The form of a cross was made by the natives.

 

Another note in Spanish was then dropped requesting information on as to whether or not the bandits had attacked the town and, if they had, in what direction they had left, and an affirmative answer being denoted by two pieces of wood cross to form a "Y", a negative answer by one stick only, and the direction of departure of the bandits being show by three pieces of wood so arranged to form an arrow pointing in the proper direction.  The natives, upon receipt of this note, made an "X" and then an arrow which pointed about due north.

The town of Matiguas and its immediate vicinity having been thoroughly searched from a low altitude previous to the dropping of the notes and no sign of the bandits having been observed, a thorough patrol was made in the general direction in which the arrow was pointing.  After about an hour of searching, a group of bandits estimated around ten in number were located at 1115, at a point about ten miles slightly north of east from Matiguas.  Fifteen bombs were dropped, one of which went through the roof of a grass house and set it on fire.  The bandits, several of whom had red plumes in their hats, jumped from their horses and ran into the woods.  Bombs were dropped and machine gun fire directed at the places where they entered the woods, and in the immediate vicinity, until all fifteen bombs had been released and the machine guns on both planes jammed.  This latter occurred on Lieut. Young's plane before fifty rounds of ammunition had been fired.  Staff Sergeant Williams had slightly better luck, about one hundred fifty rounds being fired before his gun went out of commission.  Both jams were caused by broken extractors and could not be repaired in the air due to some of the broken pieces lodging in the belt mechanism.  The contact was terminated at 1140 and both planes returned to Matiguas.

One of the trails to Matagalpa was then picked up and followed with the lope of locating the Guardia patrol which had left Matagalpa about 2300, Wednesday, 5 November.  This contact was not made but the Marine patrol from Matagalpa was picked up at a point about five miles southeast of Monte Grande.  Information regarding the situation in the Matiguas area and the present location of the bandits was dropped to this patrol at 1205, and acknowledged.  Approximately the same information was dropped at Matagalpa at 1215 and its receipt acknowledged by panel signals from the ground.

 

It is impossible to accurately state the full extent of the damage suffered by the bandits from the bombs and machine gun fire, because of the dense foliage and brush.  It is known, however, that several of the bandits' horses were killed or severely wounded, and it is assumed that there were casualties among the bandit personnel. ...

 

Source:  43A/16

 

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11 Nov 1930.  Staff Sgt. Williams, Lt. Schrider, Lt. Henderson. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

11 November 1930

 

Report of Air Missions

St-Sgt Williams, Lt Schrider, Lt Henderson

 

... Three O2U-1 airplanes ...

 

Reconnoitered area of Coco River north of Somoto.  Noted considerable cattle herded in this vicinity.  Dropped bomb nearby, but no disturbance of any type observed. ...

 

Source:  43A/16

 

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2 Jan 1931.  Lt. McQuade & Staff Sgt. Clark. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

2 January 1931

 

Report of Air Missions

Lt. McQuade, Staff Sgt. Clark

 

... Two O2U-1 airplanes ...

 

... Panel indicating bandits was still displayed by Jinotega patrol.  Planes then covered area again, and leading plane bombed thickets in draws affording most likely places of concealment.  This, however, did not disclose presence of bandits. ...

 

Source:  43A/16

 

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18 April 1931.  Weekly Operations Report.

 

Headquarters

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

18 April 1931

 

 

From:     The Commanding Officer

To:         The Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Washington DC

 

Subject:  Weekly Operations Report.

 

Enclosed herewith are the Reports of the Daily Air Missions and the Weekly Record of Events of this organization for the week ending 18 April 1931.

 

Flying time, 111 hours and 20 minutes; flights 79; passengers carried 77; freight transported 22,425 pounds.

 

The third week after the earthquake continued busy and eventful.  It has been marked by continued reconstruction, heavy passenger traffic by air, and renewed bandit activities centered on the East Coast of Nicaragua. ...

 

Sunday morning, in answer to a hurry call from Puerto Cabezas, two OC's, Lts. Young and Jack, pilots, were dispatched to the East Coast for observation and attack duty.  Reports indicated a large group of bandits were operating in the vicinity.  Lieutenant Darrah, GN, with a patrol of 22 had been cut off from Puerto Cabezas and his safety was feared.  Captain Harlen Pefley, USMC, had been killed in a contact.  Darrah's patrol was located and on advice of this officer a number of bombs were dropped on areas indicated.  Darrah also signaled he needed food.  Planes returned to Puerto Cabezas and brought back supplies and ammunition for the patrol.  The balance of the afternoon was spent reconnoitering for the bandits, but without success.  The following morning, Monday, March 13th, and here we quote from the pilot's written report, "both planes left the field at Puerto Cabezas at 0940 and headed straight for Moss Farm where contact was to be made with Capt. Wood, GN, and his patrol  Upon arriving Moss Farm, nothing could be seen of Wood, so the planes split, Lieut. Jack heading north in the direction of Log Town and Lieut. Young in the opposite direction.  Young found Wood and his outfit, which included Darrah and his patrol, about five miles south of Moss Farm.  Young proceeded to escort Wood as far as the latter place.  Wood's train couldn't go any farther because of a burning trestle - more work of the bandits.

In the meantime, Lieut. Jack had followed the railroad as far as Log Town, where he saw a group of about eight bandits loading horses with bundles.  Upon seeing the plane, the bandits dispersed, a few running into some of the remaining houses - seven had been burned to the ground - and the others into the surrounding brush.  Jack dropped bombs and opened up with his machine gun immediately but was unable to tell what effect they had.

 

After having expended all of his bombs, Lieut. Jack flew back to where Lieut. Young was circling, gave the formation signal and returned to Log Town with Young following.

 

No bandits were in sight but about twenty-five saddled horses could be seen wandering about, so Young decided to kill these, thereby hampering the bandits to some extent.

 

After having killed two, the idea occurred to Young that it might be possible for Capt. Wood and his patrol to capture these well-equipped animals and make good use of them, especially in view of the fact that it would be necessary for Wood to hike all the way from the burned trestle at Moss Farm to Log Town.

Young then flew over to Capt. Wood at Moss Farm, leaving Jack over Log Town to keep a sharp lookout for any bandits who might try to leave the vicinity, and made a drop to Wood describing the situation and advising a forced march to Log Town, one plane to guard him all the way and the other to keep a lookout at Log Town.  Young then returned to Log Town to carry out the latter mission while Jack went back to Wood and stayed with him until he entered Log Town, an hour and three-quarters later.

 

Upon entering the town, the Guardia patrol found that things were as they had been surmised - some bandits were in houses and others on the outskirts of the town hiding in the brush and apparently waiting for the planes to leave so that they might regain their horses.

 

As the patrol entered the town, Young flew very low in an effort to determine the location of the bandits from puffs of smoke from their rifles.  They, apparently, were using smokeless powder, for no smoke whatever could be seen, and the only indication that Young had of the approximate location of the bandits was the direction in which the Guardia were pointing their rifles.  From this, it was possible to estimate the location of the bandits and Young dropped bombs at where he thought the bandits were hidden.

The ground contact lasted thirty-five minutes, during which eight bandits were killed and two known wounded.

 

Seeing that Capt. Wood and his patrol had the situation well in hand, and the gas running low in the planes, Young and Jack returned to Puerto Cabezas, landing at 1415.

 

Amongst the bandits killed in the above operation we are glad to announce the name of Pedro Blandon, one of the two chief bandit jefes of Sandino.  This man has terrorized Nicaragua for some years and his death is a distinct blow to organized banditry./

 

The following day the planes made contact with Wood's patrol, dropped messages and made a pick-up, after which they returned to Managua where they landed at 1440.

Wednesday, two amphibians, Captain Johnson and Lt. Schrider, pilots, left for the East Coast as relief for the two OC's.  Upon arrival at Puerto Cabezas planes refueled and took off on patrol over Cape Gracias a Dios, reported to be in the hands of bandits.  Here we quote from the pilot's report:  "The town appeared deserted except for three men who were loading four flat-bottomed boats near the Custom House.  Two small motor launches were observed on the river.  All boats seemed to be loaded with provisions and miscellaneous bags.  As the planes flew low along the water front two white men were seen to open a shuttered window and signal to the planes to go on down toward the men loading the boats.  This was done, but no suspicious actions were observed at the time.  But, as the planes continued on over [to] the radio station, five men, all armed, ran out of the radio shack, one firing at the planes, and took cover in a small house near the local church.  Bombs were dropped, driving them to a building near the custom house, where five horses were saddled and secured.  Bombs were dropped in this vicinity.  In all, 14 bombs were dropped, the pilots endeavoring to keep the explosives away from the other houses of the village where the local civilians had evidently barricaded themselves upon the approach of the bandits.  The effect of the bombing is unknown.  A total of our hits was recorded on the planes from rifle fire.

 

It is interesting to note at this point that two of the four bullets above mentioned passed upwards through the pontoon and came out a few inches behind the observer.  This is the first time we know of where amphibians have been struck by hostile fire. ...

 

Thursday an interesting incident occurred at Quilali.  Lt. Norman flew there to evacuate a padre who was quite desperately ill.  By chance inquiry Norman learned after landing at Quilali that the padre was suffering with small-pox.  Did he evacuate him?  He did not. ...

 

Source:  43A/17/28-5

 

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17 Oct 1931.  Lt. McKittrick, Capt. Major, Lt. Weir, Lt. Dailey. 

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

17 October 1931

 

 

From:     First Lieutenant W. L. McKittrick, USMC

To:         The Operations Officer, Aircraft Squadrons

 

Subject:  Patrol Report

 

Planes and Personnel:

O2C1, 7949   Capt. Major, Sgt. Julson.

O2C1, 7950   Lt. Weir, Pvt. Day.

O2C1, 7951   Lt. McKittrick, Sgt. Dimond.

O2C1, 7952   Lt. Dailey, Cpl. Brothers.

Armament:  Each plane, ten (10) fragmentation bombs, one fixed and one free gun.

 

1.  Information from the operations officer was that there had been a bandit contact in the Northern Area on 15 Oct., 1931, and the patrol was ordered to proceed on Friday monring, 16 Oct. 1931, to Ocotal, Nic., and to take orders from the Guardia officials there.

 

2.  8:10 a.m. took off from Managua.  9:30 a.m. landed Ocotal.  The patrol was met by Capt. O'Leary, GN, and Capt. Burwell, GN.  A sketch of San Jose and vicinity was furnished each pilot by Capt. O'Leary with the information that contact had been made with bandits in that area on 15 Oct. 1931, and that all persons in that area were bandits.  Orders were given by him to drop all bombs on the buildings and surrounding hillsides of San Jose.

 

3.  10:00 a.m., took off from Ocotal with Capt. Burwell as observer.  10:15 a.m., arrived over San Jose and dropped ten (10) fragmentation bombs as directed by Capt. Burwell.  Only four (4) of these bombs detonated, two of which were direct hits on houses, two others hit in the brush on the surrounding hillsides.  The affect of the bombs could not be seen from the air except in one case where a house was set on fire by direct hit.  The free gun was not used. ...

 

/s/   W. L. McKittrick


Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

17 October 1931

 

 

From:  Captain H. C. Major, USMC

To:      The Operations Officer, Aircraft Squadrons

 

Subject:  Aircraft Operations in vicinity of San Jose, Nicaragua.

 

1.  The Guardia Operations Officer telephoned on the night of Thursday, October 15, 1931, and requested that planes be sent to Ocotal to participate in operations the following day and that instructions would be given the pilots at Ocotal.

 

2.  I left Managua at 8:10 a.m., Friday, October 16, 1931, in charge of four O2C-1 airplanes piloted by Lieut. McKittrick, Lieut. Dailey, Lieut Weir, and myself.

3.  All planes arrived in Ocotal, 9:25.  Captain O'Leary, commander of the Pueblo Nuevo district, had prepared a sketch showing the location of several houses occupied by bandit chiefs and the approximate location of the bandit camp.  He informed us that all south of the river in that locality was bandit territory and he and Captain Burwell requested that we use all of our bombs and ammunition on the targets which he and Captain Burwell would point out.  He acted as observer in my plane and Captain Burwell, department commander at Ocotal, acted as observer in Lieut. McKittrick's plane.  All planes left Ocotal at 10:00 and arrived in vicinity of San Jose, approximately three miles southwest of Pueblo Nuevo, at 10:10.

 

4.  Captain O'Leary pointed out the group of houses occupied by bandit chiefs.  Direct hits with bombs were scored on all four of these houses.  I dropped several bombs and fired my fixed bun in the areas pointed out by Captain O'Leary as that in which the main bandit camp was located.  We did not see the camp nor did we see any movement in the area due to the heavy foliage.

 

5.  Having expended our ammunition and dropped our bombs, Lieut. Weir and myself proceeded to Condega at 10:30, arriving at 10:40.  Captain O'Leary disembarked and both planes left for Ocotal at 10:55, arriving at 11:05.  Lieut. McKittrick and Lieut. Dailey went to Ocotal to drop Captain Burwell.  All planes left Ocotal at 11:15, arriving at Managua at 12:25.

6.  A total of 37 bombs were dropped and approximately 950 rounds of ammunition were fired by all planes in this operation.

 

/s/  H. C. Major


Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

17 October 1931

 

 

From:  Second Lieutenant Kenneth H. Weir, USMC

To:      The Operations Officer, Aircraft Squadrons

 

Subject:  Aircraft operations in vicinity of San Jose, 16 October 1931.

 

1.  Friday October 16, 1931 I took off from Managua at 0805 with full armament for Ocotal, flying number two position in Captain Major's formation.  Arrived Ocotal 0925.  Upon arrival there we were met by Captain O'Leary, GN, who gave us a sketch of a bandit camp at San Jose with instructions to attack that portion of San Jose lying south of stream.

 

2.  We took off from Ocotal at 1000, Captain O'Leary as observer for Captain Major, arriving at San Jose at 1010.  Upon arrival at San Jose we attacked buildings and location of bandit camp.  Captain Major's first bomb striking one building.  My mechanic, Pvt. Day, saw two men run from this building into an adjacent building, shown as bandit jefe's house on sketch, which was hit by my first bomb.  I then dropped two bombs in the brush surrounding the above houses.  I then dropped three bombs in area of bandit camp and two more on a house shown as Medina's house on sketch.  I expended eight bombs and approximately twenty-five rounds of ammunition from fixed gun.

3.  Captain Major landed Captain O'Leary at Condega at 1045, took off for Ocotal at 1050 arriving there at 1100.  Took off for Managua at 1105 arriving therea t 1225.

/s/  Kenneth W. Weir

 


Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

17 October 1931

 

 

From:  Second Lieutenant Frank G. Daily, USMC

To:      The Operations Officer, Aircraft Squadrons

 

Subject:  Aircraft Operations in vicinity of San Jose, 16 October 1931.

 

1.  Friday, October 16, 1931, I took off from Managua at 0815 with full armament for Ocotal, flying in Lieutenant McKittrick's formation.  Upon arrival at Ocotal, 0930, we were met by Captain O'Leary, GN, who gave us a sketch of a bandit camp at San Jose with instructions to attack that portion of San Jose lying south of stream.

 

2.  We took off from Ocotal at 10:00, Captain Burwell, GN, as observer for Lieutenant McKittrick, arriving at San Jose at 1010.  I dropped nine bombs and fired my fixed gun, my mechanic firing the rear gun in the area designated by Captain O'Leary.

 

3.  Having expended our ammunition and dropped our bombs, Lieutenant McKittrick and myself returned to Ocotal, landing at 1045; took off for Managua at 1105, arriving there at 1225.

/s/  Frank G. Dailey

 

Source:  43A/17A/1.22

 

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2 July-29 Oct 1932.  Excerpts from Aircraft Squadrons Reports.

 

Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

Excerpts from Reports, 2 July - 29 October 1932

 

 

2 July 1932.   One contact during the past week ... [pilots] encountered a suspicious group 5 miles NE of Guapotal, 27 June 1932.  Eight bombs were dropped and 800 rounds of fixed gun and 100 rounds of free gun ammunition were fired. ...

 

9 July 1932.   ... There were one aerial contact during the past week ... one mile south of Licus.  Four bombs were dropped in creek where bandits were thought to be hiding ... Five holes in left wing of ... plane.

 

16 July 1932.   ... There were four bombs dropped in jungle where bandits were thought to have hidden camp.  There were no aerial contacts ...

 

30 July 1932.    ... Four bombs were dropped and 400 rounds ammunition expended during the past week near a suspicious group in vicinity of San Juan de Telpaneca.  No casualties were inflicted. ...

 

24 Sept 1932.   ... Three bombs were dropped in wooded area where bandits were suspected of hiding, no results. ...

29 October 1932.   ... Four bombs were dropped on wooded hill where bandits were suspected of hiding (123-319) - no visible results. ...

 

 

Source:  43A/16/25.5

 

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Aircraft Squadrons, 2nd Brigade

Managua, Nicaragua

xxx 19xx

 

 

Report template xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Map of Segovian Airfields, 1934

Las Segovias, Nicaragua and adjacent zones, showing airfields built 1927-1934.  Adapted from US Army, Geographic Intelligence, Military Intelligence Division (G-2), 1934.  © Michael J. Schroeder

 

air-toons:  editorial Cartoons and Graphic Art on the Air War

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