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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

10 July 2008

Memo To:   4th of July Celebrants


Sandy Hudspeth is still at the Nursing Home but is getting back to normal.  He is walking with the help of a Walker following a set rehab program.  The Doctor wants him to continue with the Rehab routines to assure that his system is returning to normal procedure properly.

George McDearmon says hello to all.  They are well and active, though traveling less.  They had friends from Stafford County who went to the Drill Team and band performance along with attending the picnic at the reunion site.  Their friends  son Lance Corporal Lewis Skerry is preparing for Over Seas duty.

Tracy Bell called to say hello to all.  He has to move about with the aid of a walker a task which he accomplishes by taking his time maneuvering.  Hopefully his problem will improve a little which will allow him to endeavor to do a few more constructive routines around the home.

He mentioned the PBJ Book a write up of its contents which appeared in a Marine Corps periodical.  The write up of the book sounded interesting since it would apply to all the Marine Corps PBJ Squadrons.  He was going to obtain a copy to see if the author covered all the facets of the squadrons.

I would appreciate if members could pull a memory check on Warren D. Ritter and see if they can recall where he moved or relocated to.  He was living in the Manor House Assisted Living in Wilmington, N.C. and his last letter was returned, NOT DELIVERABLE AS ADDRESSED.

Jim Garls says hello to all.  He reported that he is still being bothered by a painful hip which has entailed Emergency Room treatments, taking special pills to relieve pain and the like.  This has limited his movement to almost a crawl but he manages to move about.

Joe Yakawich sends his best to all the gang and reported that all is well with him.  He said that the month of May was a busy time for him, he had three grand children that graduated from high school and another one who graduated from college.

He hasn't been able to get any fishing time due to the fact that the water is too high plus the weather has been raining and cool.  He said that he might have to forgo the river fishing and try the lake.  The increase in the price of gasoline will also contribute to a few shorter fishing jaunts on the water ways.

His son Joseph, Lt Col U.S. Army, was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his actions as a Combat Advisor in Afghanistan.  The recently completed a 12 month deployment leading a team of advisors to the Afghanistan National Army (ANA).  His team advised and trained Afghan Army units in Kabul Province to include President Hami Karzai's own security forces.

LtCol Yakawich was recently selected as a Tactics Instructor for the United States Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

The foregoing information was submitted for publication in their local newspaper.

Heard from Jim and Buzz Patrick who say hello and regards to all.  Jim had to put some time in the hospital due to an attack of Kwajitus.  He has recovered from that problem.

Robert Yanacek our webmaster said that he received a HELLO call from Dave Arant.  Dave Arant mentioned that he was recalled for Korea and re-trained as a fighter  pilot.  He flew F7F Tigercats (twin engine night fighter).

Dave Arant spoke to our webmaster for quite some time and he recalled how he, Vern Beggs and two other pilots used to play pinochle at Edenton when they were unable to fly due to poor weather.  Dave also mentioned that he and his pinochle buddies all wore red baseball caps with their flight gear as a display of camaraderie.

Dorothy Evans contacted our webmaster and sent along some great photos of the recent VMB-613 reunion.  These photos will be available on our website shortly.

Robert Yanacek our webmaster prepared a VMB 613 Memorial which is included as an attachment to this letter.   This Memorial Is entitled:

In Honored Memory

of the

Officers & Men of VMB-613

Who Gave Their Lives

In Defense of Our Country

In last months letter I  mentioned a book written by Raymond Perry (Navigator-Bombardier), "The Bombers of MAGSZAN" which contained a lot of history of VMB 611.  The cost of this book was shown as $235.00 rather than the correct cost of $25.00.  The shipping charges are undoubtedly extra.

Received a call from Jack Schwertfager who sends his best to all.  He continues to live an easy life and takes part in tennis and golf routines to remain healthy. 

He and Jane relocated to a Seniors Complex Residence several months ago and they enjoy the change of pace.  Now that they are among the retired they have the opportunity to plan for more trips and the like.


In endeavoring to correct our record of VMB 613'ers who have passed away it is possible that the following members status may not have been passed on:  Alfred Zachweija passed away in 2007 and Fred Sabath passed away in 2004.


Our webmaster received a message from Dan Farnham and a fellow diver Hal Parker.  Both VMB 613 diver friends at Kwajalein.  These friends of 613 have taken some new photos of one of VMB-613's aircraft in the lagoon.  They got a shot of the corroded radome on the wingtip and a good shot of the flight deck.  In one photo, the instrument panel, gunsight and throttles can be clearly seen, although all the instruments had been removed.  These pictures will also be able to pulled down with the VMB613 WEB PAGE in the near future.

Adam Prusick also contacted our webmaster this past month. As mentioned in the last newsletter, Adam is an aviation collector who has assembled a complete set of gear worn by VMB 613 flight crews.

Adam mentioned that he would be going to a local air show and would be seeing the B-25 Panchito.  Robert advised Adam to keep a lookout for VMB 613 member George Bartlett who frequently flies with that aircraft during the summer on the air-show circuit.

Remember that our new fiscal year started in January 2008.  If there isn't an (08) 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.  Many thanks to those members who have already paid their dues.

Note: (07) denotes 2007, (08) denotes 2008, (09) denotes 2009.  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.

These memorabilia items can be ordered from Charlie Knapp.

Here is a VMB 613 Special from McGrogan's Patch Design.  A cloth patch five inches in diameter which is the standard WWII size.  This is the VMB 613 squadron logo patch in color.  The cost to VMB 613 members is $3.50 per patch.  Order direct from the following address:

      McGrogran's Patch Design

PO Box 2254

Hayden, ID 83835


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."


Although the primary mission of today's Marine Aviators is close-air support, the Corps once had a medium bomber mission.

During many months of South Pacific fighting in World War II, Marine Flyers were given a job that was unusual for them.  Equipped with the B-25 Mitchell Medium Bomber, known in Naval jargon as a PBJ, the aviators carried out long-range bombing missions that were identical to those flown by the Army Air Forces.

In particular, Marines flew a prolonged aerial campaign against the Japanese bastions on several islands in the South Pacific regions of the war.  The Air Forces gave B-25s to the Navy, who in turn transferred almost all of them to the Marines.  The Marines used them primarily for night missions over selected areas occupied by Japanese garrisons.

The plane became the primary long-range aircraft in a service that didn't usually have long-range aircraft.  Four Marine PBJ squadrons operated to prevent by passed Japanese forces from impeding the Allied island-hopping advance toward Japan.  This total of four Marine Squadrons was increased to include four more squadrons to continue harassing tactics against the Japanese.

On a typical mission the PBJ could haul 1,000 pounds of bombs almost a 1000 miles and return.  A typical PBJ crew carried a crew of six: pilot, co-pilot, navigator and three gunners.  The Corps lost 172 PBJ crew members and 26 PBJs in both combat and non-combat related mishaps.

VMB-613 Memorial Day Graphic


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