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VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen



45 Verano Loop

Santa Fe, NM 87508-3151

(505) 466-6549

Front View of PBJ

4 April 2005

Memo To: The Super Patriots

Allan Protheroe left Hilton Head several weeks ago to return to Punta Gordo, FL to observe and get a little involved in the repairs to his condo that was pretty well decimated by the hurricane.

He reported that things are just getting settled down around there, and they were able to move back to their condo just a few weeks ago.  Going through all of the required reconstruction has been challenging and time consuming, but in a way things have turned out favorably in that everything is new inside and out including the furniture.

One important item that did not weather with the hurricane well was the computer.  It did suffer some water damage and apparently it was not pleased with the trauma of experiencing the hurricane and it's several months in a storage warehouse.  For on start-up, after reassembly, we continue to have many weird happenings.  I know you, as well as, most other with computers know what I mean when I say this black box can at times drive one right up the wall.  About the only thing the thing does with any consistency is read and send e-mail.  If I can get it to do that, I can get by.

The Protheroe's had lunch with Lene and Bob Polakowski the other week and they are planning to return soon for lunch.  Both Bob and Doc were able to see a PBJ and old B-17 that visited them at their small country airport.

Doc was aware of the day that they were supposed to fly in but he and Jane got weary of waiting for their arrival at the airport and returned home.  A few hours later Doc was sitting reading the paper and suddenly he heard the roar of that ever so familiar sound, a pair of Wright radial engines.  He dashed outside and there she was heading for the unforgettable sound.

The visit of this B-25 to Punta Gorda was part of "The Freedom Tour" to honor World War II veterans.

They will be entertained by the Blue Angels here in a couple of weeks also.  They have seen them many times, but it is always an inspiring and exciting show.

Although Doc and Jane had never met them they knew that Leonard and Teresa Del Vecchio live in Punta Gorda too and that unfortunately their home was also completely destroyed as a result of Hurricane Charley.

They finally got to meet them in their new home and they were happy to hear how much they enjoyed their first reunion in Pensacola.  They were very appreciative of the effort made to have Leonard's name stitched on the 613 quilt.

Doc Scott sends his fond greetings to his very good friends of VMB 613.  As our ranks thin I appreciate more keenly what a brotherhood in the service (especially with Marines) can mean.  He is going to be 99 years of age in August and is now legally blind, but he still reads the squadron letter with enthusiasm.  It was great to know that the 8mm movies and stills that I took are still in use by many of you. Best wishes and Thanks.  Clifford Scott, M.D. (Doc)

Doc also sent as a special mailing a write up on the invasion of Iwo Jima which was the bloodiest battle of WWII.

Ed Alling wrote that he really appreciated the efforts of the Ponape Island dignitaries who on their own initiative conducted the commemorative services for VMB 613.  This is fantastic!  To see this kind of response, after all the years, is almost unbelievable.

He also enjoyed seeing the PBJ'S in the latest news letter.  The PBJ with name Miss-Carriage over the opening for the 75mm cannon was the name of plane that his crew flew in.  He was desirous of obtaining a better copy so I referred him to our web page and also said that if that didn't suffice let me know and I would endeavor to get one e mailed to him.

Jim Kendall sends his regards to all.  All is continuing well with them.  Jim appreciated receiving the information about the VMB 613 Web Page and he has taken the time to start his review of the information contained therein.

Jim mentioned that he and Zoe are docents at the Ano Neuvo State Reserve, in Pescadero, CA., 40 miles south of San Francisco.  They work with the public and define the history of the Northern Elephant seals and how they have survived from near extinction in the late 1870's and have recovered very strongly in the last 40/50 years.

Jim DePasque says hello and regards to all.  He is still up and around but has to watch his movements due to cardiac problems.  Limited travel is on their agenda due to this problem so every move is made with great planning.  Hopefully they will be able to make a trip to Phoenix this year and take in some real warm weather for a week or so.  He is going to have his daughter check out the VMB 613 WEB page and than make plans to get over to her house and have a look at Kwaj again, as well as, the other items that are sure to be pictured on the site.

John Kennedy says hello to the surviving radio repair men.  They survived hurricanes Jean and Francis except for damage to the screened patio.  Many people suffered severely with failed roof and interior damage. 

He also sent along some pictures of blue roof country.  The article emphasized that the building codes were not tough enough, hence they were not prepared.  It took ten years to enact a new code but it failed to prevent billions of dollars in damages and failed to stop thousands of lives from being thrown into turmoil.

I was able to re-locate Carl Ellison who says hello to all.  All is continuing well with him.  He received some damage to his mobile home during the hurricane but it was light compared to friends who received terrible damage, even to the extent of full loss of their trailers.  His new address is at the close to the news letter.

Although he doesn't have a computer his son does and he is going to pull up the WEB page on his son's computer and bring back memories of Kwaj.

Had an opportunity to speak with Fred Grzeskowiak who says hello to all.  He said that he was still living in the same old house.  He started living in it in 1939 and it is still holding up fine.  Physically he has slowed down a little, knee replacements and a hip operation.

It has been quite a while but he remembers being in contact with Gerry Gutshall a few times in the past.  His daughter has a computer and she took down the WEB Site address and Fred is going to start checking up on Kwaj memories.

Had an opportunity to speak to Mark Brandsgard who says hello and regards to all.  Everything continues well with them.  He was impressed with the fact that the Ponape government and the American government representatives conducted a memorial service on the 60th anniversary of the loss of our personnel and aircraft.  I gave him the address of our website and he is going to pull it up and bring back memories of Kwaj. 

Left word with Olin Parks regarding our webpage and he said many thanks and regards to all.                                     

Spoke to Carl Klingeman who sends his best regards to all.  Everything is continuing well in orchard land and they are doing their planning for a successful crop.  I gave him the address for the WEB page and he said that he would be pulling it up at once.

R.L. Marx called from Arizona to report that all is well with Alice and himself.  They will be in Arizona until around the 1st of April when they have to return home and pacify the tax man.

They send their regards to everyone.

Foster and Doris Cummings send their regards to all.  Foster decided to let the snow stay behind and they went on a trip to Maine.  The weather was quite decent and they enjoyed seeing a few tourist spots without the large influx of tourists.  After a week of relaxing they returned home to wait for the next snow storm.

Jim and Mary Jane Lewis send their best to all.  They have been having a great time relaxing in Texas and are now starting to pack their sea bags to return home.

They sent along a newspaper picture, in color, of the swimming pool at their motel which was loaded with out of state visitors walking in the pool and floating in the water.  In addition they sent along some newspaper clippings which reminded all the readers of the 60th Anniversary of the Iwo Jima Invasion.

A group of re-enactors were also pictured with their rifles and combat gear as they prepared for the landing at Iwo.  They had explosives going off in their field positions as they moved forward in the attack phase.

Tracie and Margaret Bell send their regards to all.  They are keeping indoors as much as possible while the stormy weather prevails.

Lester Robinson says hello to all.  All remains well with him.  He is waiting for the baseball season to get rolling and is wondering how great the players will be this without any special assistance from stimulants etc.

Joe Yakawich sends best of everything to all.  He also sent along a new style picture, this one was of fisherman as opposed to the western pictures from the olde days.  He said "No Siree, Fishing ain't what it use to be, but then neither am I."

This new type of painting is in water colors and the fishing theme is what he does the most of now.  He makes them into a comic type routine.

His weather has been unusual, very little snow or rain which means if it doesn't start doing something soon, no fishing this summer, no water available in the streams etc.  He reported that his son the LtCol is still doing great, busy all the time.

John Gavin sends his best to all.  He has had a quiet winter, but did have his right hip replaced in October and it is coming along fine, the left hip was replaced twenty one years ago and no problems have come up to bother him.

He sent along some pictures, one of which shows all the mech-gunners with their autograph on the back.  Another picture with nine Marines from VMB 613 was taken in San Diego on the first night of liberty back in the states.

There was one unidentified member of 613 in this liberty run picture but in working with Foster Cummings he was identified.

Jack Virga says hello to all.  He reported that he hears from Carmine Nasta around Xmas time every year.  Jack reported that he has been retired for several years now.  He followed the trend on retirement and moved out to the country, after about five years the silence got to them so they moved back to the city.

He keeps active in different organizations and in one of them the head of the organization asked him if he was a Marine and he responded in the affirmative.  The person said I thought so, all you Marines are so full of enthusiasm it is outstanding.

Ray and Betty Hickey send their greetings from Washington State.  They mentioned that in the eastern part of the state where they live they haven't had any rain or snow for the entire month of February - the driest on record.

They recently celebrated their 60th anniversary on January 28.  Ray's health has been fairly good and he is waiting for the warmer weather to arrive so that he can cut six full cords of wood for next season.  Betty has been on chemotherapy weekly since November.  Hopefully her cancer which had been in remission for seventeen years will be cured by this current treatment.

John Aymen mentioned last month that he and Wanda were in the process of looking for a new home.  Now they are in the process of moving into it.  Their new address is at the end of the Newsletter.

Called Ike Stern to make him aware of the WEB Site and he was out.  Had a great conversation with Jan and she reported that Ike was doing all right.  He has had to overcome some health problems and is hanging in there.  They have received phone calls from Carmine Nasta and he keeps them informed of various 613 events.  They both send their best to all.

Received news from Betty Robinson that Frank has been suffering from a severe infection and has been under very close medical observation.  He is now starting to feel better and hopefully will be up and around as before real soon.  Betty sends their regards to all.

Chuck Cannato reported that all continues well in Connecticut and they are getting adjusted to new quarters.  He received as a gift from his granddaughter a great computer which he is now in the throes of determining how to properly operate it.  He managed to get an e mail off to me so he is on the road to mastering it.

Anthony Blaso sends his best regards to all.  He reported that he is feeling pretty good and takes a lot of "hoss" pills to help him move around.  As a former construction firm operator he at times keeps busy on various emergency jobs which he says helps to keep his health system in line and also his leg muscles which tend to get bound up at times.

I gave him the website address and he is going to have his son in law who is in computer sales pull it down and then get over to take in all that is available.  He is sure that memories of Kwaj will be outstanding.

Heard from Joseph Cairns who sends his best to all.  We had a great time reminiscing about events at Kwaj.  He is now 90 years of age and sounds as though he was 20 when he was bringing back the memories of different events at Kwaj. He remembered the names of some of the islands that our planes either were stationed at or flew over them on special missions.

While Sgt of The Guard for a day or so he heard noise coming from the Mess Hall early in the AM one morning and went over to see what was going on. 

People were in there to get fried eggs, such as sunny side up, over easy and even scrambled, these edible eggs came from real egg shells instead of the normal dried eggs that most of us had to eat.  They made him a special guest to partake of the meal since he was the Sgt of The Guard.

Joe said that he still manages to get around but has to use a walker.  By driving in the day light he is still able to get around and get to the super market and the like.

Spoke to Maxwell Cobbey who says hello and regards to all.  He has spent several years as an overseas missionary and put several years in Viet Nam.  Now that he is supposedly retired he still manages to assist different Christian organizations in their responsibilities.


Richard S. Riggle - After a long illness Richard's life ended Feb 9, 05.  Thought you would like to know the priest that conducted the Funeral Mass and based his sermon on Dick's talk to him.  Dick said "I am a Christian, a Marine, and an Elk."  Father Steve weaved his sermon around that thought and it was beautiful.

As ever,

Eleanor Riggle


Our Website received the PATRIOT AWARD.  This was awarded by PatriotFiles.Com on February 28, 2005 for this website's "outstanding military and patriotic content."  We in 613 thank out WEB Site Administrator for receiving this award.  Without his outstanding contributions we would never have received the PATRIOT AWARD.

Robert Yanacek continues to upgrade the data in the website and possibly many members may have already perceived this when they reviewed material that they had looked at in the past. 

I received an e mail from a retired qualified engineer in England who has a lifelong interest in US WW2 electronic equipment.  He has spent months searching the WEB for specific equipments and recently came across our excellent website.  This immediately brought to his mind the question if we knew of any sources of info on this WWII equipment that B-25's could have use including 613.

Our website administrator responded to him and gave him recommend sources for including some of  the books written on Marine PBJ action in the Pacific during WWII.

Robert Yanacek heard from Dave Arant an early VMB 613 pilot who found our WEB page and was reporting in to let us know that he was a member of 613.  After a few e mails Dave Arant and S/Sgt Dikeman were added to our roster.  The remaining members of Dave's crew were already accounted for.  Dave said that he was proud of the fine work that has been done with Website by Robert Yanacek.

Another positive response by the way of a log book entry to our Web site was received from John Lawrence of VMB 433.  He was an armorer-gunner and arrived overseas a a replacement in January 1945.

In reviewing the Fine Scale Modeler forum there was a comment that we (VMB 613) have a great website outlining one Marine squadron's use of different variants of PBJs, including the H model gun ship.  This Web site has a good wealth of info, drawings, and pictures about the PBJs.

The fact that we had color on our planes compared to the other branches olive drab or silver aircraft has been influential in getting a lot of attention.

Some important website data was sent along to us by Robert Yanacek.  This data showed the number of hits and visits to the site as of February 22, and they have continued to increase.  This is good, as more and more people are finding our website.  The number of pages viewed daily has increased 2 times.  The distribution of the MB-6 memorial service has undoubtedly been the significantly cause of interest.

A lot of hits to the Web Site came from Australia which was the result of Justin Taylan's (webmaster of Pacific Wrecks Database) e-mail to his subscribers about the Ponape memorial service.

Several hits were by individuals who could have been squadron members because they pulled down members names and spent a lot of time checking different sources of information about the squadron.

Donald Taft's daughter was pleased to learn about our website and she was going to visit it and really take her time looking at the various scenes.

Remember that our new fiscal year started in January 2005.  If there isn't an (04) or higher two digit number appearing after your name on the mailing label on your envelope you should mail a check to us made out to VMB 613 in the amount of $20.00 for payment of dues.

Note: (04) denotes 2004, (05) denotes 2005.  Many thanks to the members who have already sent in their dues checks.


THE LIMITED EDITION COLLECTORS ITEM, the squadron logo hat pin is still available for VMB 613 members and friends.  This pin is an inch in diameter and comes in a pewter finish or gold plated with a hand painted finish.  The colors are similar to the colored logo that was mailed out several months ago. Marine Corps Scarlet Red background, Gold Wings, Black Cannon and Maces.  Plus it is made in America.

Pewter finish logo hat pin - $4.50

Hand painted finish logo hat pin - $5.50

A new item is the license plate frame.  It is a composition material (special plastic) with a red background and gold lettering. The top of the frame has U.S. MARINES and the bottom VMB 613 WWII.  The cost is $5.00 INCLUDING PACKING AND SHIPPING.

USMC Heat Transfer Kit.  Has 6 large insignias and 6 small insignias.  Can use on caps, T shirts or any other cloth item.  These kits are $3.95 each.     

We still have the small VMB 613 number plate for the rear window at $5.00 each.  These now can be ordered with either a WHITE or RED background. 

The regular size VMB 613 license plate complete with mounting hardware is now available on special order for $20.00.

We have a limited number of Red VMB 613 caps, the cost is $10.00 each and are being sold on a first-order, first-serve basis.

These memorabilia items can be ordered from Charlie Knapp.

Please continue the notes or letters all of which help to make the monthly letter more interesting. 

This is all for now.  Stay healthy.

Semper Fi,

Signature of Charles Knapp



For security reasons, changes to the roster are not available on-line.  Please contact Charlie Knapp for address information.


A directory of e-mail addresses for members is available on-line in a password protected area of the site.  Please contact our webmaster to obtain your password. 

Note: Please check your address on the listing and let me know of any required corrections.  Some messages have been returned with a comment "unknown address."


Copyright 2008 Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen Association.  All Rights Reserved.