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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

3 October 2005

Memo To:  All The Baseball Fans

Here is some new information to be added to the VMB 613 Story.  Recently a gentleman by the name of Larry Clare found our website while doing some research on the Internet and was very surprised to find all of the material on VMB 613.  He indicated that our web site is one of the best he had ever seen.

Of particular interest is that Larry married Susan Stone in 1966.  Susan is the only child of 1st Lt Thomas W. Stone who was KIA on February 6, 1945 in the raid on the Japanese airfield on Pohnpei.  Larry went onto say that his wife was born in December 1944 and never had the chance to know her father, but would like to pass as much information about him as possible to their children.

Susan was a little overwhelmed by the new information about her father and was surprised to learn of the memorial service that was held on Pohnpei earlier this year for her father and the other members of the crew.  Susan's mother, Kay, and the rest of the Stone family had a difficult time dealing with Lieutenant Stone's death, and little information was ever discussed regarding his service in the Marine Corps.

About fifteen years ago Susan's mother gave her the medals that her father was entitled to (including the Purple Heart), and the wooden barracks chest in which were shipped home her father's personal belongings.

Also included was the photograph attached in this newsletter.  Susan's mother had no information about the picture, as it is undated and uncaptioned.  It is in a tropical setting, palm trees in the background, native-looking troops bearing arms, and a number of unidentified individuals - some of which are believed to by VMB 613 members.

Vern Beggs reviewed the photograph and quickly identified Lieutenant Stone as in the front row on the right.  Larry confirmed Vern's identification; however, the identity of the other individuals remain unknown.  It would be appreciated if the members would review it and send along any information as to where the picture was taken and if there are any more 613'ers in it, the date of the picture, reason for the picture etc.

Larry, Susan, and the other members of the Stone family have been very appreciative of the information they have learned about Lieutenant Stone from us and eagerly look forward to hearing from VMB 613 members, especially those who knew Lieutenant Stone.  Susan can be contacted through her e-mail address which can be found in the membership e-mail directory on our website.  Those members without e-mail access can contact me to pass on any information.

We also had the pleasure of hearing from another member of the VMB 613 family.  Chris Pelletiere the grandson of Ross Bennett came across our web site and stated that we have an extraordinary website.

He sent along a picture of his grandfather's aircrew, a picture of a transport landing on some island, could have been Kwaj, and a picture of his grandfather wielding a paint brush on a building presumed to be the VMB 613 "O" Club at Kwajalein.

Tom and Connie Lahart send their regards to all members.  They reported that everything here in PA is good and they are doing well and enjoying life. 

Both are in pretty good health and for the most part pain free which allows them to do pretty much what they want.  They have limited their long distance trips but do take in the local country side with an occasional over nighter.

Doc Protheroe sends his regards to all.  They have been busy finishing up required repairs to their home at Hilton Head.  Different things pop up over time that have to be repaired.  He sent along the following web site address which shows a satellite view of the placement of the World War II Memorial and a good chunk of Washington, D.C.  He said that it was a spectacular site from space:

Doc also said that he has spent a lot of time visiting the many memories on the VMB 613 Web Site.  It is absolutely outstanding and Bob Yanacek rates a great compliment for his exceptional effort in the development and maintenance of the site. 

Jim and Buzz Packard say hello to all.  They are going on a trip to Northern California and Oregon and will be in touch with us upon their return.

Bob Polakowski sends a big hello from Wisconsin to all our 613 buddies and ladies.  A neighbor of Bob's who recently passed away was a Marine but he never told Bob that.  The neighbors son gave Bob an original copy of the "Scuttlebutt" which was the MCAS Santa Barbara Base Newspaper.  It is copy was published January 11, 1943 and was not the first issue of the base newspaper but pretty close to it.  It is a two page, back to back, printed document containing interested news about the base and some of the Marines stationed there.  I have made a copy of it for future reproduction purposes and sent the original copy back to Bob for his personal Marine Corps files.

Bob also sent along the EAA book/magazine re: the Oshkosh air show plus a Florida Vets Book.  Both are interesting reading.  Bob wanted to attend the Oshkosh air show this year but had to be out of town attending a scheduled family event.  He knew that a B-25 would also be among the aircraft on display and in flight and was hoping that he would be able to meet with the crew members of the plane and get a fast briefing on any modifications that they might have had to make to assure the planes flight worthiness.

Just thinking about the Oshkosh air show and the various WWII aircraft brought back high school memories to Bob.  Some of his class mates were aircraft gunners on B-17's and B-24's and related many a tale of flying over sections of Europe and Africa and having to make emergency landings on the water as well as the coast due to enemy fire damaging their aircraft.  He said he would have really enjoyed looking at those aircraft.

Jim and Mary Jane Lewis say hello and regards to all.  Their area of the country has started to get into the fall transition stage so it has cooled down a little.  They attended a granddaughters wedding in the Twin Cities area, Harriet Island in St Paul which was a great affair with an Irish ceremony.  The wedding reception was also an outstanding event.  Instead of a wedding cake they had four different kinds of pies.  These were what the bride wanted and they were delicious said Mary Jane.

RL and Alice Marx send their best to all.  They reported that they are both hangin' in there pretty good in spite of old age syndromes.  RL has remained active by driving his John Deere tractor and moving rail road ties and the like.  In addition to that activity they have been attending weddings, and visits to and from the family.  These are events that they don't like to miss.  They will be visiting with daughter Amy and family in Vermont later in the fall season.

George Comer says hello to all.  He mentioned an article in the Leatherneck Magazine issue of September 2005 which covered some early occupation of activity in Japan in 1945 after hostilities ceased, by U.S. Armed Forces, and preparations for the surrender were in process.  On one of pages within the article they show the twin tails of a U.S. B-25 Mitchell medium bomber along with some Japanese "Betty" bombers.  George is of the opinion that the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber is a U.S. Marine Corps PBJ and possibly one of VMB 612's.  George spent several months in that area and described the many various buildings set up in and around the aircraft hangars where-in Japanese aircraft squadron personnel could perform specialized jobs.  He was impressed with the facilities, which consisted of airplane repair shops, storage facilities and barracks.  In some areas there were even underground complexes to maintain their aircraft.  He also had an opportunity to see the BOQ occupied by the Kamikaze Pilots.

The Marine Bombing Squadron VMB 613 Association has donated $100.00 to the American Red Cross Katrina Disaster Fund.  James D. Garls handled the transaction and completed all documentation in the name of Marine Bombing Squadron VMB 613 Association.

Another hurricane (Ohpelia) was brewing on the southern U.S. coast and Robert Yanacek who lives on the shore of North Carolina (Kill Devil Hills) reported that they had received instructions to evacuate. They decided to stay and ride out the storm and remained, lucky although the wind velocity was about 35 mph.  They had some sustained winds and a little bit of rain and mist.  No power outages.  One surprise though was that he got a day off from work with pay due to the impending hurricane threat.

The VMB 613 WEB Site received another compliment from a webmaster.  Steven Poundstone, Webmaster for the FCo, 2ndBn, 9thMAR website reported that our site is very professional and he knows that a lot of work went into putting it together.  Once he came across it he wanted to include it on their links page because the historical value of the site must never be forgotten by future generations of Marines.  He was never aware of the information that our site provides and by viewing the site itself he got a little bit of a history lesson.  He wanted us to know that he for one appreciates the VMB 613 site.  Although his links page consists mainly of Vietnam era Marine Corps units, the only non-Vietnam era organizations he provides links to are VMB-613 and the WW-II Raider websites.


Robert Yanacek reported that he has done some major cosmetic work on our Website.  He inserted a new "Main Page".  It contains the words "Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen' in script similar to that on the book cover of the 1945 "O'Reilly Book" and VMB-613's squadron insignia.  It also contains a link to a site map that will help our website to be frequently indexed by search engines.  He also provided an easy e-mail line to himself and a link to the legal notices pertaining to disclaimers, privacy, copyright, etc.

To access the other pages, viewers will click on "Enter Our Site".  This will take them to the main page everyone is familiar with. 

Many new photos have also been added to our website including a photo of the landing strip on Eniwetok, the chapel on Kwajalein, and a photo of VMB-613 member, Jack Lowder on guard duty.

Robert Yanacek also reported that Foster Cummings sent him a good photo of his air crew.  This was the only aircrew picture not a part of the Thorpe collection.  The squadron now has a good photo, thanks to Foster.  He said that it's really nice to be able to see the faces, especially Captain O'Reilly.

The fact that a Nicholas Blaga located our site and spent over an hour looking at various sections was also noted by Robert Yanacek.  It should be noted that this could be a relative rather than Nicholas who was doing the research.

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.