Site Map  SITE MAP


VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen



45 Verano Loop

Santa Fe, NM 87508-3151

(505) 466-6549

Front View of PBJ

2 May 2005

Memo To: The Marine Patriots

Many thanks to all the members who sent in the write ups on the 60th Anniversary of the Iwo Jima Invasion.  Although similar in content the individual presentations were a little different so that all events of the actual landings were covered and the memories of the Marines who landed were really refreshed when they arrived at Iwo for the Anniversary Celebration.

Cliff Willis called and says hello and regards to all.  We reminisced about things at Kwaj such as the B-29's coming through and commandeering the flight lines for overnight parking.  Cliff was attached to the 4th MAW Headquarters at Majuro prior to joining us.  They asked for volunteers for guard duty in the month of August which he passed on but instead opted for Mess Duty for August, September and October 1944 which resulted in his being transferred to Kwajalein and the 4th MAW Headquarters (Forward Echelon).

After that he operated the Movie and ran the Island newspaper delivery service and took care of the Recreational Hall. Short hours 6:00 AM to midnight.  While operating the projector one night he moved his hand over some wires and received a severe electrical shock.  In talking to the General the following AM he mentioned the problem and in no time at all he had a brand new, never been used, projector to use.

He was then transferred to VMB 613 in May 1945 where he had a multitude of assignments from the front office.

In looking through his pictures he came across two that showed most of the tents and huts that quartered some of the Headquarters operations of the 4th MAW and sent them onto us.  They are enclosures to this newsletter with foot note identifiers.

Mike and Alice Jacus sends their best regards to all.  They  have been busy helping their daughter through some medical routines which has been time consuming.  The results to date have continued to be positive so hopefully she will be up and about soon.

Mike was one of the members who sent along a newspaper article on Remembering Iwo Jima and it contained a lot of information about the islands underground hollowed out systems which contained pillboxes, anti-tank guns and concealed artillery.  These were some of the defenses that caused extensive damage to the Marines in their landing.

Don McCune sends his regards to all.  Every thing is going on well in PA, they just have to remember to dodge the rain and snow that continues to swoop through their area.

Jim Brotherton says good luck and best wishes to all members of "613".  He read with great interest the write up about the Ponape raid particularly since he was in the group of six planes that took part in the raid. 

He said that his good wife, four children and eight grandchildren continue to be well and happy.

Foster Cummings sends his regards to all.  He heard from Bob Polakowski who called him after his return from Florida.  He and Helene had a great time relaxing in the sun.  No hurricanes in their vicinity to given any one a scare this year.

Foster and Doris got together with John and Doris Siergiewicz for an evening dinner night.  Health wise all is great with both families.

Lester Robinson sends his regards to all.  Things are going along well for him.  He is waiting for baseball season to start up.

D.C. Clay says hello and regards to all.  He has been able to get some golf in spite of the rain.  Occasionally the course would not be playable due to the heavy rain storms in their area.  All remains well with him.

Gene Miller called and said hello to all.  He and Carmina have purchased and moved into a new home and their address is at the end of the letter.  They had been living in a Senior Citizen Complex and made a decision to leave it for their own home where they could maintain almost the same routine.  Carmina has had some surgery and is doing well. She will be able to move about in the new home without too much difficulty.  Their daughter and son in law will also be close by for assistance.

Heard from Bob Polakowski who reported that he and Helene had returned to Wisconsin from sunny Florida and that all was well with them.  They both send their best to all.  They had six weeks in very busy Florida and had the opportunity to get together with Allan and Jane Protheroe.  He affirmed that their condo has been "rehabed" since last years hurricane and that a few minor things still had to be taken care.

He tried to get together with Alex Ohlson but he was out on the golf course and they couldn't close the loop.  (Flight control expression) 

R.L. Marx called him and said that they were in a hurry to get home from Arizona so they bypassed Santa Fe but got caught in the Colorado snow storm in the Denver area.  His new car didn't have front end drive so they had control problems.  His first stop when he got home was to get an improved model.

When Bob had a little time to sit down in Wisconsin he came across some reading material that Foster Cummings had sent him and it was fascinating reading.  All Marine Corps reading of course.

In the trailer court where they stayed in Florida Bob said that there were over 100 Marines, all from the current hostilities.  It was fascinating to listen to their stories Bob reported.  Bob got the opportunity to play some golf while he was there and one Marine he played with had lost two legs in Iraq.  He has managed to pull himself together and play the golf course as though he had no physical problems.

Stan Richardson says hello to all.  He and Peach report that things are good there in Florida.  They had family in from Maryland for a visit and they enjoyed the company. 

Stan's brother passed away and they made an emergency trip to MD to attend services.  Stan said that the weather wasn't very kind to them and they were glad to get back to MD.

Carmine Nasta sends his greetings to all.  He has been feeling great except for an occasion wherein he came up with a severe back problem.  To alleviate the problem he had to be extra careful what pain killers he used because of recently discovered problems within the pharmaceutical industry with all their pain killers.

After reading Carl Ellison's name in the last newsletter he called him but didn't get a chance to talk to him, he was out playing golf.  Since Carl was also a baseball player that brought back a lot of memories to Carmine about other 613 baseball players, such as Les Robinson and then some major league players who went on to become Managers.

He has been in touch with Ike Stern and enjoyed several discussions with him regarding members of the squadron.  His attempts to reach Frank Noland weren't successful so he will try again and hope he has better luck.

He maintains contact with Walt Gravello, Gene Hansen and Walt Mathesen and will be in touch with them soon.

Bob Grice sends his best regards to all members.  He is now back in Ludington after a sojourn to Florida for a few months.

Norb Gibbs was scheduled to go to his grandson's school to talk to the students about World War II.  On his agenda was to show the students our webpage so that they could learn about VMB-613 and see if they were clever enough to find him.  Brilliant idea.

Jim and Mary Jane Lewis send their best to all. They returned from their Texas trip and are still talking to one another and still walking around.  This means that they are able to sit up and take nourishment.

Their take off time to go Texas was all planned out in advance but a few things interfered such as being too slow in packing.  They finally got off went to the city for an oil change for the car and then the car decided to act up and that had to be taken care of also.

Finally they were on the way again when they hit a lot of flashing lights, white, blue and red, police ambulances and Police redirecting traffic.  To get out of the bumper to bumper traffic they tried a short cut, got lost but finally made it back onto the road to Texas and arrived at their motel.

Great weather in Texas and they were able to do a lot of traveling with friends in the immediate area and over the border into Mexico.  The souvenirs, and fruit for sale in Mexico were outstanding as were the restaurants.

They finally left for the cruel cold MN weather and were able to watch the swans swim in their unfrozen lake.  They did some local celebrating which included going to a Casino where Mary Jane broke even.

Willis Roose sends his regards to all.  They had just returned from Phoenix/Scottsdale and found the latest missal waiting for them.  He was happy to hear that we had heard from the "Singing Mechanic"

Jim DePasque.  He remembers Jim and his singing at Kwaj when the USO Bands would make their visit.  He always managed to get on stage and do a number or two with them.

He was also glad to hear that Doc Scott had written to us.  He remembered that Doc had designed a sail and had it built by various "Gyrenes" complete with parachute silks for sails.

Although he couldn't place all the names in the newsletter he did remember Chuck Cannato particular because he hated the immunization shots.

Cliff Dotson reports that they have moved into their new house.

Everything went as smoothly as possible considering that they had lived at their former home for a little over 43 years.  Although they didn't downsize they did spend some time in getting rid of a lot of accumulated items for a period of a little over a month prior to the move.  He helped the movers by packing over eighty boxes of books and house hold items which was in addition to the twenty or so boxes the packed.

Their life style isn't completely back to normal yet but Patsy is back to playing bridge and involvement with her various church and club activities. Cliff himself is back to playing early morning tennis on week days, wether permitting, and working on a couple of jobs.

They survived Cliff says and are very pleased with their new living environment.  They both thought it was time to pass on their old home to the younger generation.  Best regards to all from both of them.

Harlan Jason sends his best to all.  Things are continuing well with him which means he is still here and he has laid off any and all hard work.

He enjoyed seeing the picture of Miss-Carriage (MB11) in the Newsletter and said that Charlie Barci was the Crew Chief, Harlan Jason was 2nd Mech and Tom Honan was 1st Mech.

Another memory of the plane was that the Squadron Emblem was on the front wheel plate.  He managed to get that wheel plate and brought it home where it resided for years.  After he left home his mother cleaned out the house and threw out all the junk.  Included in the junk was the front wheel plate with the Squadron Emblem.

He couldn't remember who the artist could have been, perhaps a member of the Camp Maintenance Section was a talented artist and volunteered his services under a cloak and dagger routine just to help get the emblem out for All Hands to see.

He also remembered that the aircraft mechanics went through a last minute change of carburetors at North Island.  It took a crew of about twenty five mechanics (estimate) to get the job done. There was a tool  shortage but they did manage to borrow (and return) a lot tools to complete the change.

No food was on the flight line but the assigned mechanics made arrangements with some North Island sailors who were able to get them into the Navy Mess Halls for their vitals.

Nick Bozic says hello and regards to all.  He is coming along real well after his second hip operation this time on his right hip.  He now walks with a cane or walker depending on what he is planning to do.  His knees are still a problem and hopefully they will get back into some sort of good shape.  He manages to get out into the outside world to have lunch with his daughter and also to make it to the grocery store for shopping.  This activity renews his attitude that things will improve.

Mike Pasachnik sends his best to all.  He isn't feeling too bad but is still confined to the wheel chair which has limited him from taking part in his favorite sports of fishing, hunting and walking.  He mentioned the PBJ that had an accident in the DC area and said that he was on the plane (which was a VMB 413 aircraft) and had to be hospitalized for a few weeks.  After his release from the hospital he joined 613.  He can also remember going out on proficiency firing tests.  His position was in the nose of the aircraft so they had to be flying in the C or D model PBJ.

He remembers that his plane in 613 was MB 13 but he couldn't remember the name of it.

The current weather in his area is becoming something he enjoys, warm almost like summer.

Randy Clow sends his regards to all.  He reported that things are great here in northern California with  a wet winter, but thankfully they didn't have any wild storms, tornadoes or hurricanes, and no mud slides or earthquakes. They consider themselves lucky to be relatively free of health problems, and things are looking good generally.

He went to the VA to check up on his hearing loss and they rewarded him with a 10% disability for riding around in the aft end of a PBJ with waist windows knocked out.

He has been in touch with Red Nelson and he is doing OK even though he is still being bothered with his eye problems.  He also had some minor surgery to clear up a blockage on his nose.

Chico Duarte called to say hello and regards to all.  Everything is continuing well with them and they manage to keep busy.  He is going to have his daughter pull up the webpage so that he can see what memories he has been missing.

Bob Chrisman says hello and regards to all.  Things remain great in Arizona and he gladly lets their rain go onto New Mexico and other eastern states.

Jim Garls says hello to all.  They have been enjoying some beautiful spring weather which is great except the grass has started to spring up which means he has to pre-flight his riding mower and get ready for the harvesting.  Then plan how to do the trimming along the fence and house with a regular mower.

Heard from Jack Schwartfager who reports that all is going well with him and he is doing great.  He continues to maintain an athletic schedule which allows him to play golf two to three times a week and occasionally gets in a fourth day. 

They have a swimming pool at the club house which he also utilizes on a daily basis for jogging in the water for 30 minutes and than doing a few laps the length of the pool.

Had a great conversation with Al Varner who sends his regards to all.  We revisited Kwaj and I gave him the website address so that he could take it all in again, both in B&W and some color.

He said that all is going well with him, he did have a hip replacement a year or so ago and to date he is able to walk better than he had in years.

Ike Stern has been reviewing pictures of aircraft mechanics to complete input for the webpage  endeavoring to identify the personnel shown. For completeness he sent the pictures onto Carmine Nasta and hopefully Carmine will be able to identify the remaining unknowns or get back to Ike and discuss the situation.

He reported that he located a large picture of a graduating class of aviation mechanics from the school in Memphis and that some of them, like himself, ended up in VMB 613.  He also had a picture of Chief "Wallace E. Smith" fishing Edenton with a bottle for bait.  He was going to send these onto the Web Master to see if they could be used.

Ike recalled that on the way out to sea from San Diego one of our Cooks got sea sick and stayed that way for three days plus.  He finally started to recover by the time we got to unloading the lumber at one of our stops.  He was heard to make the statement that he would go AWOL rather than be on a ship back to the states.

Had a chance to talk to Elwood Sechrist an early member of VMB 613.  He was an Ordnance Gunner and was transferred to VMB 423 sometime after Boca Chica.  He remembers the H model being delivered to us prior to his transfer. 

Over the years he was able to keep up with some 613 news by meeting with LeRoy Mays who used to live about three miles from him.  He sends his best to all members.

Trig Haroldson (son of Herb and Sue Haroldson) sent along a message saying that he enjoyed visiting the

VMB 613 Web Site.  His father and mother told him and his siblings many stories of their time at Kwajalein.  Keep up the good work he said.

We are still hoping that a member or two will be able to find a picture of Dave Snider and William Farley to complete our webpage inputs.

In addition hopefully flight crew members and plane mechanics will be able to give us the name of their plane and the MB number.  To date we know of the following identification some of which is incomplete:









Love Bug






Flaming Fury

When you come up with the information please forward it to me.  Thank you.

Also received word that Martha Thomas is now living in a nursing home due to physical ailments.  Her health is fair but it was felt that she would be in an environment more suitable to her ailments.


Edward J. Smith.    Received a message from his daughter who said that he passed away on October 22, 2004 and that her mother passed away on August 8, 2004.

Joseph Tierney.   Received a message from his daughter who said that he passed away in April 2002.

Albert Rothenbach.  Received a message from a family member who said that he passed away in April 1999.


The Kwajalein Hour Glass issue of February 16, 2005 had the write up of the Marine Bombing Squadron 613, February 6, 1945 memorial service held at Ponape, February 6, 2005.

If any member wishes to pull down that issue of the Kwajalein Hour Glass here is the address, but beware it takes a long time to pull it down, so have patience:

Robert Yanacek our WEB Site Administrator received notification that our website has been nominated for the Diamond Website Award by the International Association of Webmasters and Designers (IAWMD). We are being evaluated as a website in the "Aviation" category.  This organization was founded in 1997 and is today supported by 310,000 members and affiliates in 145 countries worldwide.  A notification has been placed at the bottom of our main page, and visitors can click on the "Diamond Web Award Applicant" image to cast their vote for our website.  Visitors may choose "Yes" or "No".  Nothing else is required.  Visitors may vote more than once, but can only vote once per day.

The forgoing vote data is now obsolete so don't try to vote.  I wasn't sure when the actual vote time would end, but it did end before we went to press.  Thought you all would like to see what you could have done had time allowed it.

The voting by members and other viewers of our webpage has resulted in our being awarded Diamond Web Page Award.   

The VMB 613 website also received the Patriot Award, awarded by PatriotFiles.Com on February 28,2005 in recognition for this website's "outstanding military and patriotic content"

Robert Yanacek our webmaster has been accepted to the American Association of Webmasters (AAWM), a very prestigious organization.

After reviewing our website they said "Your (Our) website has proven to promote high standards in development and makes a positive contribution to the internet community... we are honored to have you as our latest member."

Congratulations to Robert Yanacek from the members of VMB 613 for his outstanding efforts in developing our website.

Several family members have been searching our website and one of them sent along a request for additional information about a squadron member.  This person was trying to determine if one of our squadron members was his great grandmothers brother. 

Other members have looked at over 200 pages on the website over a two day period making searches for certain members.

Over 3/4 million searches have pulled up our Website reading and searching for information.  I am enclosing a summary of the Web Site search status for the past few weeks.

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.