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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

5 January 2004

Memo To:  All Football Arm-Chair Quarterbacks

Happy New Year to all and many thanks for the many Holiday Greeting Cards.

Remember to call the Reunion Reservations Desk at NAS Pensacola and place your reservations for the year 2004 VMB 613 Reunion.  Members can now make reservations immediately.  Those members on e-mail were notified of the change January 7, 2004.  Hopefully they have notified other members of the change.

When asked we are the Reunion Group I.D. No. VMB-613.

These salient dates are listed below.


Remember that family members are welcome at the reunion.  We have had a good turnout of family members at prior reunions and would like to see this trend continue.

The Pensacola area is bubbling with all the unique ingredients needed to make a perfect site for our 2004 Reunion.  It will be another fun-filled time to meet and greet all our 613 friends.

The Air Museum is one of the biggest attractions in the country and all attendees will really enjoy seeing the various aircraft on display.  A PBJ is still under "rebuild" and hopefully we will be given the opportunity to make a walk by and take a few pictures of it.  Don't know how many will be allowed to enter the aircraft though.  There are also several interesting aviation memorabilia items on display that all would really enjoy observing.

Please keep in mind that for the Raffle we would welcome any and all gifts from members.  In prior years we received many interesting items and would like to see the trend continue.

The squadron has the Yakawich Fund whose primary purpose is to provide some assistance to members in their attendance efforts at reunions.  Any and all requests are considered confidential.


MARINE BOMBING SQUADRON VMB 613 will hold its 2004 BIENNIAL REUNION at the Navy Lodge on Pensacola, Naval Air Station, Florida during the period 5 May 2004 through 8 May 2004.

Record the following important data close to your calendar appointment schedules:

Reservations have already started.  Telephone number is toll free at 1-850-456-8676, identify yourself as a member of VMB 613 to assure getting the special room rates.

Please notify me after making your reservations so that a list of attendees can be quickly updated.

REUNION REGISTRATION FEE: $45.00 per person.  This covers the PBJ Lounge and Banquet. To expedite record keeping please forward payment by check, to J.D. Garls, made payable to VMB 613.  Payment will also be accepted at the Reunion.


Heard from Norb and Betty Gibbs who say hello to all.  Everything is great with them, no sickness only some hectic days at the store.  The Thanksgiving and Xmas Holidays bring the shoppers out and keep him busy.  He continues to keep his part time job of 40 hours a week vs. his old schedule of 80 plus hours per week in his own business.  But he said, it is enjoyable keeping up with the customers desires for specialty foods.

Norb feels he maybe getting a little old since his first grandchild will be getting married in August which will be just a few months after his 80th birthday.

Jack Schwertfager sends his best to all.  He continues to get his golf game in and is hoping that the snow holds off around his area for a few more months.

Arky Ligon called to say hello and let us know that he has relocated.  His new address is listed at the end of this newsletter.  Arky reported that his eyes are giving him trouble and he is hopeful that the eye specialists can put their finger on the problem and correct it.  Other than that things are okay.

Tom Honan says hello to all and reports that all is well with him in Florida.

Foster Cummings sends his best to all.  He had been waiting for the weather to change to winter and it did.  They had the real McCoy weather of a lot of snow in his home town.  He made early plans to pre-flight his snow blower and was able to use it constructively several times.

Bob Polakowski says regards to all and sent along a belated Happy Birthday.  They attended a Veterans party at the local Junior High which was interesting.  The children made some presentations regarding Veterans which were well received.

He and Helen read with interest the article in the October newsletter regarding the passing of the Jesuit Priest Fr. Hacker at Kwajalein Atoll. 

During their trip to Kwajalein in February 1994 they met Fr. Hacker and had a great time chatting with him.  The spelling of his name was similar to Helen's family name except for the "T" on the end.  Fr. Hacker said that he had heard that some members of the family tree had changed the spelling some time in the past and that Helen's family was undoubtedly related to his family and that they were no doubt cousins.

George Comer says hello to all.  He was interested in the comments in the last monthly letter regarding the Marine Raiders who were killed by the Japanese at Kwajalein.  Doing a lot of Marine Corps research he recommended a book by Web Griffin which is number 2 of a series on the Corps.  The author went into a lot of detail about the problems that the Raiders had in endeavoring to land and also leaving Makin.  His write up pretty well covered the actual tide problems associated with the invasion and its effect on the boats and rafts used by the Raiders.

The Japanese command was pretty vicious in their treatment of the Marine prisoners after they were transferred to Kwaj this included their execution.   After the war the War Tribunals were able to convict the high ranking Japanese officers of their misdeeds and they were hanged. 

George also mentioned his experience with the hangar at LTA (Marine Corps Air Facility at Tustin).  The Marine Corps was able to keep all the helos from MAG 16 and MAG 31 lined up inside the hangar.  There were two rows of aircraft on each side of the hangar and this was the full aircraft complement of four squadrons.

Legend has it that the hangar was so large that they had indoor rain and the rafters were the home for hundreds if not thousands of pigeons. The timber in the hangars was red wood, laminated beams, and it took a lot of special equipment to get them installed properly.

During the Korean Armistice talks the United States built up their Korean on site troop strength and MAG 36 was one of the Corps units that was suddenly transferred there to be on site prior to any signing of documents.  George was one of Marines who made the trip.

Heard from Jim Lewis and he and Mary Jane send their regards to all.  Jim reports that Mary Jane is progressing from her knee surgery operation.  She has progressed from the walker assist and cane routine to walking unaided.  She still limps but has reduced her requirement for pain killers to evening hours only.

Mother nature still provides interesting scenes for them on their lake.  They look out the windows and see hundreds of geese and black trumpeter swans on a daily basis.  In addition their sightings of deers continues to increase annually.  So far this season there has been an increase in the number of hunters who have been getting their licenses and all residents hope that the size of the herd will be reduced thus saving their vegetation.

Bill and Ruth Jurgelevich report that all is well in Main but starting to get cold.  They send their regards to all.

Homer and Janette Anderson report that all is well with them and they say hello and regards to all.

Charlie Cosbey sends his regards to all.  In addition te bringing his memory into play regarding three of our planes that were disposed at Kwaj he also reported that he is doing well and continues to go to his son's shop every day for three or four hours a day.  It keeps him out of trouble.

Joe and Dot Waldowski send their regards to all.  They have been taking rides to scenic spots on the shore while the weather holds up.  They are still active in their senior group which gives them the opportunity to go on a lot of day trips which include shows and lunch.

Harlan Jason says hello to everyone.  He reported that he is surviving and can get about with some difficulty.  Has difficulty in walking, has to watch his diet, take pills three times a day to keep his heart performing properly plus a few other physical problems.  All in all though he sounds great.  He is convincing himself that all will turn out well in the long run.

When we get to the Pensacola Air Museum Jason said to look for some aircraft skis that can be used on a PV or Box Car.  He made them when he was working for a large aircraft equipment supplier.  I assured him that we would look for them and verify the manufacturer's name tag.

Stan and Peach Richardson send their best to all.  They went on a trip for most of te month of October which gave them a chance to see some fall colors up the coast.

They visited with relatives in New Jersey and Maryland.  They spent more time in Maryland visiting with family members and than returned home stopping to take in sights that they never had a chance to see on prior trips.  They are looking forward for the reunion and hope that many will attend.

Two members remind us that we have just five months to register ourselves or others we know as World War II Vets for the WWII Memorial.  The web address is

I have heard from two Marines regarding a new book on the market.  It is entitled Fly Boys by James Bradley.  They recommend it for anyone who was in the Pacific during WW-II.

It gives good insight on why the Japs behaved like they did and what a rotten bunch of individuals they were.  One Marine said it's amazing the turnaround they seem to have made since the War's end.

In last month's letter I mentioned receiving an e-mail from one Bob Haney a government employee working at Kwajalein Lagoon.  He was researching the use of Marine PBJs and an interesting part of this lead him to believe that most of VMB 613's PBJs are located on the bottom of a lagoon at Kwajalein Atoll. 

Divers found at least three fairly intact PBJ1-H's with many more (up to 12) possibly there.  The photographs he saw showed the Marine radar unit on the wing tips confirming that these were PBJs.

He was interested in knowing if any members of VMB 613 could recall details of the squadron's aircraft being left behind at the atoll or if anyone was actually there when the aircraft were disposed of

I sent his copy of the e-mail to all 613 members on the E Mail List and several responded with their facts to Bob Haney.

Ed Smith also sent along some memories of the aircraft.  He said that he knows of some of the birds being towed to the dump where the wheels were pulled and then a dozer pushed them to an area for further disposition.  Ed said that he helped on the wheels.

Bob Haney responded that he had heard from some of the members and that their inputs assisted him in affirming that they had physically accounted for all of VMB 613's PBJs which was in accord with the government's records.  "It is amazing to think almost all of VMB 613's PBJs are sitting there.  No other B-25 or PBJ squadron can account for so many of their actual aircraft still being in existence."

If any squadron members have any memories of our aircraft being transferred to Roi Namur send me the info and I will put it together in a volume.


Bill Kehr called and passed word that Bill Black passed away on November 14.  He had been fighting cancer for several years and it appeared that he had defeated it.  Unfortunately he had a re-occurrence that couldn't be brought under control.  His obituary is contained later in this newsletter.


Remember that our new fiscal year started in January 2004.  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: (03) denotes 2003, (04) denotes 2004.  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 are out of stock on the Red VMB 613 caps. Efforts are in process to find a qualified organization to supply us with a restock of the caps.

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.