This section provides a complete unit history of Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen from its commissioning on October 1, 1943 through its decommissioning on November 21, 1945. A unit chronology is provided below. Subsequent sub-sections provide detailed history and information, and may be accessed by clicking on any date in this chronology.
October 1, 1943: Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen (VMB-613) is commissioned at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. The senior officer, Captain Robert C. Woten, assumes command.
November 16, 1943: Major Harry F. Baker Jr. assumes command of VMB-613.
January 23, 1944: VMB-613 suffers its only non-combat related fatality when Private First Class John D. Sintich is struck by the propeller of a taxiing single-engine aircraft.
February 26, 1944: VMB-613 is re-assigned to Naval Air Station (NAS) Boca Chica, Florida for torpedo training.
February 29,1944: Major Baker is forced to ditch his aircraft, Bureau Number 35047, due to a mechanical problem. Major Baker is seriously injured in the landing and Major George W. Nevils assumes command.
March 22, 1944: Having completed torpedo training, VMB-613 returns to MCAS Cherry Point.
April 1, 1944: VMB-613 is detached from MAG-61 per Group General Order 1-1944.
April 2, 1944: VMB-613 is attached to MAG-62.
June 30, 1944: Major George W. Nevils is appointed as commanding officer.
August 3, 1944: VMB-613 changes station to Marine Corps Air Field (MCAF) Newport, Arkansas.
October 1, 1944: The squadron's Table of Organization is brought up to full strength. All 15 PBJ-1Hs have been received from the modification centers.
October 14, 1944: In preparation for deployment to the Pacific, all air operations cease.
October 21, 1944: Air echelon departs MCAF Newport for NAS North Island, California. Ground echelon departs MCAF Newport for Marine Corps Air Depot (MCAD) Miramar, California.
October 22, 1944: Air echelon arrives at NAS North Island.
October 25, 1944: Ground echelon arrives at MCAD Miramar.
October 30, 1944: Air echelon departs for Pearl Harbor, Hawaiian Territory aboard the USS Tulagi.
November 5, 1944: Air echelon arrives at Pearl Harbor and is stationed at MCAS Ewa.
November 22, 1944: Ground echelon departs for Pearl Harbor aboard the USAT George W. Julian.
December 3, 1944: Ground echelon arrives and joins the air echelon at Pearl Harbor.
December 10, 1944: Ground echelon departs Pearl Harbor for Kwajalein, Marshall Islands aboard the USAT Julian. The first section of the air echelon begins the flight from Pearl Harbor to Kwajalein via Palmyra, Canton, Funafuti, Tarawa, and Majuro.
December 11, 1944: The second section of the air echelon begins the flight from Pearl Harbor to Kwajalein via the same route as the first section.
December 14, 1944: The third section of the air echelon begins the flight from Pearl Harbor to Kwajalein via the same route as the first and second sections.
December 15, 1944: First section of the air echelon arrives safely on Kwajalein.
December 19, 1944: Third section of the air echelon arrives safely on Kwajalein.
December 23, 1944: Ground echelon arrives at Kwajalein.
December 29, 1944: Newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel Nevils is appointed Commander, Kwajalein Air Group.
January 13, 1945: First action against Japanese forces. Two PBJ-1Hs fly to Kaven Island, Maloelap Atoll, and harass the Japanese garrison.
January 22, 1945: First major action against Japanese forces. Nine PBJ-1Hs bomb and strafe the Japanese garrison on Wotje Island, Wotje Atoll.
January 31, 1945: Thirteen aircraft and 144 men of VMB-613 depart Kwajalein and deploy on Eniwetok Atoll.
February 6, 1945: VMB-613 suffers its only combat loss when First Lieutenant William J. Love and his crew of five is shot down and killed in a bombing run over Ponape, Caroline Islands in Bureau Number 35275. A navigator on board another aircraft is also killed by a bomb fragment during this same strike.
February 19, 1945: Seven aircraft depart Eniwetok and return to Kwajalein to resume operations at the squadron's home base on Kwajalein.
February 27, 1945: All available aircraft begin an intensive search for survivors of an aircraft in which Lieutenant General Willard F. Harmon, USA was a passenger. The search continued until April 2, 1945.
March 6, 1945: Daily snooper flights to Kusaie Island begin.
March 13, 1945: Five remaining aircraft and all personnel return from Eniwetok to the squadron’s home base on Kwajalein.
March 19, 1945: Small groups of pilots begin rotating for one week of R&R in Honolulu.
March 31, 1945: VMB-613 is detached from MAG-31.
April 1, 1945: VMB-613 is attached to MAG-94.
April 3, 1945: Patrols of the shipping lanes begin. These patrols continue through V-J Day.
May 9, 1945: An aircraft and crew arrives on Kwajalein as a replacement for the aircraft and crew lost over Ponape on February 6, 1945.
May 13, 1945: Four aircraft and eight crews depart for Saipan, Mariana Islands for temporary duty with VMB-612. From Saipan, these aircraft and crews proceed to Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands to conduct anti-shipping operations.
May 31, 1945: The last two aircraft and crews return to Kwajalein from Iwo Jima after completing temporary duty with VMB-612.
June 1, 1945: Night harassing missions to Mille Island, Mille Atoll begin.
July 14, 1945: VMB-613 begins weekly patrol and reconnaissance flights of Ocean and Nauru Islands.
August 14, 1945: All offensive operations against Japanese held islands cease, however security patrols and air-sea rescue flights continue.
August 15, 1945: V-J Day. Squadron participates in program at Richardson Theatre on Kwajalein.
September 1, 1945: Two aircraft dropped surrender messages to the Japanese garrisons on Wotje and Maloelap.
September 2, 1945: President Truman declares the war officially ended following the Japanese government's signing of the Instrument of Surrender aboard the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
October 25, 1945: The first group of VMB-613 members with sufficient points departs Kwajalein aboard the USS Salamaua for San Francisco, California via Eniwetok.
October 27, 1945: Upon the transfer of Lieutenant Colonel Nevils, Major David M. Danser assumes command of VMB-613.
October 31, 1945: Last of VMB-613’s aircraft are transported to Roi and turned over to CASU-F-20 for disposal.
November 1, 1945: Last members of VMB-613 depart Kwajalein for the United States aboard the USS Alnitah.
November 7, 1945: USS Salamaua arrives in San Francisco. First group of VMB-613 members disembark and await transportation to MCAD Miramar.
November 12, 1945: USS Alnitah arrives at Pearl Harbor then departs for San Diego.
November 15, 1945: VMB-613 members in San Francisco embark aboard the USS Botetourt for transportation to MCAD Miramar.
November 17, 1945: USS Botetourt arrives at San Diego. First group of VMB-613 members disembark and report to MCAD Miramar for release from active duty.
November 21, 1945: USS Alnitah arrives in San Diego. VMB-613 is detached from MAG-94 and decommissioned at MCAD Miramar.
Copyright © 2008 Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen Association. All Rights Reserved.