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VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen

 

JUNE 1945

A daily summary of squadron activities for the month is provided below.  Additional details for significant events may be found at the linked text.

June 1, 1945: Two planes flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  Two planes patrol assigned shipping lanes.  Two planes conducted a night harassment mission of Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 39).

June 2, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew a search of friendly atolls in the southern sector.  One plane flew a search of friendly atolls in the northeast sector.  One plane performed a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  Two planes conducted a night harassment mission of Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 40).

June 3, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  Two planes conducted a night harassment mission of Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 41).

June 4, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  Two planes flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  Two planes flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 42).

June 5, 1945: One plane performed a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  Two planes flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 43).

June 6, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.

June 7, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane performed a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  One plane conducted a flight to investigate flares near Mejit Island.  Two planes flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 44).

June 8, 1945: One plane flew a northeast sector friendly atoll search.  Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew to Majuro.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 45).

June 9, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew a northwest sector friendly atoll search.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 46).

June 10, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.

June 11, 1945: One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  Two planes flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 47) and (Aircraft Action Report 48).

June 12, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 49).

June 13, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew a search flight of friendly atolls in the southern sector.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.

June 14, 1945: Two planes flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  Two planes flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 50).

June 15, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 51).

June 16, 1945: One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie, negative.  One plane flew a search flight of friendly atolls in the southern sector.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 52).

June 17, 1945: One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane conducted a search flight of friendly atolls in the northeast sector.

June 18, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane conducted a search of friendly atolls in the northwest sector.  One plane provided an escort flight over Jaluit Atoll.

June 19, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane conducted a search of friendly atolls in the south sector.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 53).

June 20, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane provided an escort flight from Kwajalein to Eniwetok.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 54).

June 21, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.  One plane flew from Eniwetok to Kwajalein.  Three planes flew from Kwajalein to Eniwetok.

June 22, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  Three planes flew from Kwajalein to Eniwetok.  Three planes performed sector searches operating from Eniwetok.

June 23, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  Two planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok.  One plane flew a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 55).

June 24, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  Three planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane conducted a strike against Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 56).

June 25, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  Three planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok.  One plane flew from Kwajalein to Majuro.

June 26, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  Three planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok.

June 27, 1945: One plane flew a search mission of friendly atolls in the northeast sector.  Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  Three planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok. 

June 28, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  Two planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok. 

June 29, 1945: Two planes patrolled assigned shipping lanes.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie, negative.  Two planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok.

June 30, 1945: Two planes conducted assigned shipping lane patrols.  One plane flew from Majuro to Kwajalein.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie.  Two planes flew sector searches operating from Eniwetok.

Loading Machine Guns

LOADING MACHINE GUNS: A VMB-613 armorer pauses for a quick photograph while loading .50 caliber ammunition into the four nose-mounted guns on a PBJ-1H. 

Photograph: Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen (Courtesy of Charles F. Knapp)

Loading Up on Majuro

LOADING UP ON MAJURO: At VMB-613's forward operating base on Majuro Atoll, 250 pound General Purpose (GP) bombs await loading  in preparation for a harassing strike on a Japanese held atoll.  

Photograph: Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen (Courtesy of William A. Kehr)

Snooper Flight Over Mille

SNOOPER FLIGHT OVER MILLE: Taken from the co-pilots seat while on a snooper flight over Mille Atoll in June of 1945, Mille Island and its airstrip can be seen.  Mille Atoll was the first of the Japanese-occupied islands in the Marshalls to surrender following V-J Day.

Photograph: Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen (Courtesy of Paul J. Yanacek)

Village on Likiep Atoll

VILLAGE ON LIKIEP ATOLL: A VMB-613 aircraft makes a surveillance pass over one of the native occupied islands in Likiep Atoll.  A pier, as well as a  building and a number of houses are visible.  Likiep Atoll was never occupied by the Japanese and the native islanders lived throughout the war peacefully with an abundance of fruit and fish.

Photograph: Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen (Courtesy of William A. Kehr)

Strike on Mille

STRIKE ON MILLE: Japanese facilities burn following a strike on Mille Island.  Clearly visible are a number of small boats, buildings, and the pier on the lagoon side of the island.  The airstrip can also be seen in the top section of the photograph.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps

MAJURO AIRSTRIP: While conducting missions over Mille, VMB-613's aircraft operated primarily from the airstrip on Majuro.  Aircraft in this photograph include PBYs, F6Fs, SBDs, TBMs, and at least one R4D.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps

Top-Notch Mechanics

TOP-NOTCH MECHANICS: VMB-613's aircraft mechanics were highly respected for their efforts by the pilots and aircrews.  The fact that only one operational aircraft loss occurred in over 16,000 hours of logged flight time speaks volumes about the dedication and expertise of the engineering department.  Two mechanics are seen here with two pilots: (L-R) Second Lieutenant Carl O.H. Haroldson; Staff Sergeant Charles W. Sharpe; Sergeant Herbert F. Siegert, and; First Lieutenant Vernon H. Beggs

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Nicholas P. Dudo)

Engine Test

ENGINE TEST: Lying on a wing, a VMB-613 mechanic makes some adjustments to an engine during a test to obtain maximum performance.  Note the piece of Marsden Matting under the aircraft.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Roy Thorson)

Dauntless Dotty

DAUNTLESS DOTTY: On November 24, 1944 the B-29 "Dauntless Dotty" under the command of Colonel Robert K. Morgan (third from left), led the first strike on Tokyo since the Doolittle Raid in 1942.  Months later this same aircraft was turned over to a new crew to be ferried back to the United States.  Just before midnight on June 5, 1945 the "Dauntless Dotty" and her thirteen man crew landed on Kwajalein to refuel.  A few hours later the aircraft took off from the airstrip, became airborne, and about forty seconds later crashed into the ocean killing ten of those aboard.  A number of members of VMB-613 witnessed the crash, most notably, Sergeant Robert L. Marx, who was standing guard on "Easy" beach and witnessed the entire incident.  The wreckage of the "Dotty" and the remains of the ten men who were trapped inside her when she sank have never been located.  The wreckage is believed to be at a depth of approximately 6,000 feet.  Based on various hydrographic studies and Sergeant Marx's recent interview, a search to locate the "Dotty" is being planned.  Additional information concerning the search for the "Dotty" can be found at the NUMA Press Release.

Photograph: U.S. Army Air Forces (Courtesy of Linda Morgan)

Statement of R.L. Marx

STATEMENT OF R.L. MARX: Following the crash of "Dauntless Dotty" Sergeant Marx was interviewed as a witness.  Unfortunately, his testimony was dismissed by the investigating officer as "impossible" and the above statement was prepared without his knowledge or approval for accuracy.  In 2006, this unsigned statement from the official report, was brought to his attention.  Sergeant Marx indicated that he had never seen his supposed statement, and that it was probably prepared without his knowledge to support the pre-conceived conclusions of the investigating officer.  This has provided support to the belief of a number of researchers that the true cause of the accident may have been concealed with fabricated statements.

Photograph: U.S. Army Air Forces (Courtesy of Linda Morgan)

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