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VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen

 

MARCH 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.

March 1, 1945: Six planes based at Eniwetok with the remaining aircraft at Kwajalein pursuant to Operations Order ComShoreBasedAirForce No.4-45.  One plane flew a snooper mission over Ponape (Aircraft Action Report 18).  One plane conducted a night harassing mission over Wotje Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 13).  One plane flew a night harassing mission  over Maloelap Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 14).  Two planes search for lost aircraft, results negative. 

March 2, 1945: Two planes conducted a snooper flight over Ponape (Aircraft Action Report 19).   One aircraft flew a special reconnaissance mission over Likiep Atoll.

March 3, 1945: Two planes escorted fighter-bombers of VMF-422 and VMF-113 on a strike of Ponape Island.  Two planes flew hunter-killer flights, negative.

March 4, 1945: Two planes flew snooper missions over Ponape.  Two planes conducted hunter-killer flights, negative.

March 5, 1945: One plane conducted a snooper mission over Ponape.

March 6, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Ponape.  One plane escorted fighter-bombers of VMF-111 on a strike of Ponape.  One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie.  Two planes flew patrols of regularly assigned search sectors.

March 7, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie.  Two planes conducted patrols of regularly assigned search sectors.  Two planes flew a special submarine search off Roi Island, negative.  One plane conducted a night security patrol over Kwajalein Atoll.

March 8, 1945: Two planes flew a snooper mission over Ponape (Aircraft Action Report 21).  One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie (Aircraft Action Report 20).  Two planes flew regularly assigned search sectors.  One plane conducted a night security patrol over Kwajalein Atoll.  One plane flew a submarine search near Roi, negative. 

March 9, 1945: Two planes flew snooper missions over Ponape (Aircraft Action Report 23) (Aircraft Action Report 22).  One plane flew a snooper mission to Kusaie which was aborted due to poor weather.  Two planes conducted a search for lost aircraft, negative.  Two planes patrolled regularly assigned search sectors.  One plane escorted a ship enroute to Eniwetok.

March 10, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Ponape.  One plane escorted fighter-bombers of VMF-422 over Ponape.  One plane conducted a snooper mission over Kusaie.  One plane conducted a search of friendly atolls north of Kwajalein.  Four planes searched for downed pilot, negative.

March 11, 1945: Two planes flew snooper missions over Ponape (Aircraft Action Report 24). One plane conducted a snooper mission over Kusaie.  One plane conducted a search of friendly atolls.  One plane patrolled regularly assigned search sector.  One plane flew a reconnaissance flight over Wotje Atoll.  One plane flew a hunter-killer mission which was aborted due to poor weather.  One plane continued search for lost pilot, negative.

March 12, 1945: One plane flew a submarine search mission, negative.  Three planes conduct a patrol of shipping lanes.  One plane flew a snooper mission to Kusaie.

March 13, 1945: One plane conducts patrol of assigned search sector.  One plane flew a special reconnaissance mission to Likiep Atoll, negative.  All remaining planes and personnel return to Kwajalein from Eniwetok pursuant to dispatch order 120341, ComShoreBasedAirForce.

March 14, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission to Kusiae.  One plane patrolled regularly assigned search sector.  One plane conducted a search mission for life raft, negative.

March 15, 1945: Six planes patrolled regularly assigned search sector.  One plane flew a snooper mission to Kusiae which was aborted due to poor weather.

March 16, 1945: Six planes patrolled regularly assigned search sector.  One plane flew a snooper mission to Kusiae.  One plane conducted a special night patrol over Wotje Atoll.

March 17, 1945: One plane flew a dawn reconnaissance mission over Wotje Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 25).  One plane conducted a snooper mission over Kusaie.  Six planes patrolled regularly assigned search sector.  Three planes conducted a special submarine search, negative.

March 18, 1945: One plane conducted a snooper mission over Kusiae.  Three planes patrolled regularly assigned search sector.  Three planes conducted a special submarine search, negative.  Two planes conducted a special search for false signals on 1245 kilocycles, beacon frequency, negative.

March 19, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission to Kusiae.  Four planes conducted patrols of regularly assigned search sectors.  Small groups of pilots begin one-week periods of R&R in Honolulu on a rotating basis.

March 20, 1945: Three planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane flew a search of friendly atolls pursuant to Operations Order 5-45.  One plane conducted a search of a reported submarine contact, negative.

March 21, 1945: Four planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane flew a special search for false signals on 1245 kilocycles, beacon frequency, negative.

March 22, 1945: Five planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane flew a search of friendly atolls pursuant to Operations Order 5-45.

March 23, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie.  Five planes conducted regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane flew a search of friendly atolls pursuant to Operations Order 5-45.  One plane flew a reconnaissance flight over Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 26).

March 24, 1945: Five planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane conducted a snooper flight over Kusaie (Aircraft Action Report 27).  One plane conducted a security patrol over a beached ship.  Three planes dispatched to Majuro as a temporary base on hunter-killer missions pursuant to verbal orders from ComShoreBasedAirForce.  Two planes conducted hunter-killer flights near Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 28).

March 25, 1945: Five planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  Two planes conducted hunter-killer missions near Mejit Island.  Three planes flew hunter killer flights near Mille Atoll (Aircraft Action Report 29).

March 26, 1945: Three planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane conducted hunter-killer flight  near Mille Atoll.

March 27, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie (Aircraft Action Report 30).  Two planes flew regularly assigned sector searches.  One plane conducted a search of friendly atolls assigned pursuant to Operations Order 5-45.  Three planes returned to Kwajalein from temporary duty at Majuro.

March 28, 1945: One plane conducted a snooper mission over Kusaie (Aircraft Action Report 31).  Five planes performed regularly assigned sector searches.

March 29, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie (Aircraft Action Report 32).  Six planes conducted searches of regularly assigned sector.

March 30, 1945: One plane conducted a snooper mission over Kusaie.  Four planes patrolled regularly assigned search sector.

March 31, 1945: One plane flew a snooper mission over Kusaie (Aircraft Action Report 33).  Four planes conducted searches of regularly assigned sectors.  One plane flew a reconnaissance flight of southern friendly atolls within 250 miles of Kwajalein.  Three planes performed a special submarine search near Wotje Atoll, negative.  VMB-613 is detached from Marine Air Group Thirty-One (MAG-31).

Mike-Baker 5

MIKE-BAKER 5: MB-5 (BuNo 35289) awaits action on Kwajalein.

Photograph: John Gavin (Courtesy of Bill Remick)

Line Crew at Work

LINE CREW AT WORK: Members of VMB-613's line crew work on one of the squadron's aircraft.  The aircraft's name, "8-Ball", is just visible above the opening of the 75mm cannon.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps, Arthur H. Navarre Collection (Courtesy of Diane Hindy)

Kusaie Island

KUSAIE ISLAND: Located 330 nautical miles southeast of Ponape, Kusaie is a fairly large island that encompasses a land mass of about 65 square miles.  Located in the Eastern Caroline Islands, it was heavily defended by the Japanese.  Because it had been bypassed, VMB-613 flew frequent snooper missions to maintain surveillance of Japanese activities.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of William A. Kehr)

Lele Harbor

LELE HARBOR: VMB-613 normally conducted snooper flights to Kusaie from Kwajalein, 375 nautical miles to the southeast.  Seen above is the Lele Harbor area, one of the primary harbors on Kusaie.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of William A. Kehr)

Patrol Over Port Lottin

PATROL OVER PORT LOTTIN: A VMB-613 snooper flight to Kusaie patrols the Port Lottin (now known as Utwe Harbor) area in search of Japanese activities.  Although significant numbers of anti-aircraft guns were operational on the island, the Japanese would normally track the squadron's aircraft and not fire unless they detected that the bomb bay doors were open.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of William A. Kehr)

127mm Dual-Purpose Gun

127MM DUAL-PURPOSE GUN: A Japanese 127mm dual-purpose gun.  This type of gun was a very common air defense weapon in the Central Pacific Theater.

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

Engebi Airstrip

ENGEBI AIRSTRIP: A view of the airstrip on Engebi Island, Eniwetok Atoll shows the steel mats that were laid down on the coral as runway.  VMB-613 provided navigation escorts for many of the fighters and dive bombers based here.  In the background an F4U, an SBD, and a twin-engine SNB can be seen.  The aircraft at the extreme left cannot be identified. 

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

Village on Eniwetok

VILLAGE ON ENIWETOK: A native village and church, believed to be on Eniwetok Atoll.  Native villages such as this survived on the islands not occupied by the Japanese. 

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

Squadron Artist

SQUADRON ARTIST: VMB-613's "Rembrandt," Staff Sergeant Frank P. Noland, poses with one of his artwork creations.  This particular aircraft was named "Marlene."  Sergeant Noland has been identified as the Marine who painted the names on all fifteen of VMB-613's aircraft.

Photograph: Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen (Courtesy of Frank P. Noland)

PBJ Departing Kwajalein

PBJ DEPARTING KWAJALEIN: One of VMB-613's PBJ-1Hs departing the airstrip on Kwajalein for one of the numerous patrols in March of 1945.  In the background R4Ds and R5Cs can be clearly seen.  Notice the bare metal visible on the leading edge of the port wing--the result of the constant blowing of coral sand on the airstrip.  It also appears that the nose has been repainted entirely in sea blue, the color normally used on the upper surfaces.

Photograph: U.S. Marine Corps (Courtesy of Frank E. Acker)

R5D

DOUGLAS R5D: A Marine R5D transport arrives on Kwajalein.  These four engine aircraft had a range of 3,900 miles and frequently landed on Kwajalein for fuel during flights between Pearl Harbor and Saipan.

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

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