MARINE BOMBING SQUADRON SIX-THIRTEEN ASSOCIATION
45 Verano Loop
Santa Fe, NM 87508-3151
8 February 2005
Memo To: All The Snow Shovelers
Many thanks to all for the phone calls, e mail messages, cards and letters on the subject of New Years.
60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LOSS OF OUR AIRCRAFT: AIRFIELD NO. 2, PONAPE
The 6th of February marks the sixtieth anniversary of the loss of our PBJ during the strike on the Japanese airfield at Palikir on Ponape. Our comrades killed during the mission were: First Lieutenant William J. Love; First Lieutenant Thomas W. Stone; Staff Sergeant John R. Schwaller; Sergeant Leland E. Baumbach; Sergeant John A. Becker; Sergeant David Snider; and Private William M. Farley.
Just before Christmas 2004, we received correspondence regarding the loss of our aircraft and its crew from Steve A. Druzak, the Deputy Chief of the Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia, Ponape. Steve, who has been stationed on Ponape for some time, was very surprised to learn about the loss or our aircraft, which he discovered from our website.
Steve decided that in honor of that sacrifice made by our Marines, he would arrange for a small wreath laying ceremony at the crash site, with a number of embassy employees in attendance. He contacted us to advise us of his intent, and to inquire as to the exact time that the aircraft was lost.
We informed Steve that on that day, our aircraft departed Eniwetok at 9:00 AM, and arrived over the target at 11:10AM. Lieutenant Love, his crew, and Private Farley were killed at 11:15 AM according to footnotes contained on the squadron's 1945 Muster Roll.
Following Christmas, Steve and the Security Chief for the embassy visited the crash-site to determine exactly where the wreath should be placed. They easily located an engine, part of
the main landing gear, and a number of smaller pieces of the aircraft, however they were unable to locate the aircrafts remaining tail section. Due to the easy access to the site of the engine, Steve decided that this would be the most appropriate location to place the wreath.
On February 6, 2005 at 11:15 AM (Ponape Time*), a wreath laying ceremony will take place on Ponape. Steve has asked Suzanne K. Hale, U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia, to personally attend to render the honors to our Marines. If the Ambassador is unavailable, Steve will place the wreath as her direct representative. Hopefully, we will be able to provide a photograph of the ceremony in next month's newsletter.
As for the future, Steve is hoping that once the new U.S. Embassy building is constructed in Kolonia, there will be a small amount of funds remaining to construct a permanent marker at the crash-site listing the names of our Marines.
*This date and time corresponds with the following time zones in the continental United States: February 5, 2005 7:15PM EST; February 5, 2005 6:15 PM CST; February 5, 2005 5:15 PM MST; and February 5, 2005 4:15 PM PST.
VMB-613 ARTICLE TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
Recently we received correspondence from Aenet Rowa on Majuro. Aenet is the webmaster of yokwe.net*, an informational website dedicated to and serving the people of the Marshall Islands.
Aenet indicated in his correspondence that he found our VMB-613 web page and after reviewing the history of our squadron, has decided to do a front page article on Marine Bombbing Squadron Six-Thirteen for yokwe.net. Aenet noted that the activities of our squadron from Kwajalein in 1945 are an integral part of Marshallese history, and that his readers would be interested in hearing about us. Aenet concluded by adding that he was pleased with the fact that so many of our squadron members have, throughout the years returned to the visit the Marshall Islands.
Information regarding the actual article will be sent in a future Newsletter, once Aenet has published his article.
*Yokwe is a traditional Marshallese greeting, similar to the Hawaiian greeting, Aloha.
Our website administrator, Robert Yanacek has submitted a request for some additional photographs. Robert reported that, sadly, there is not one photograph of Sergeant Dave Snider or Private William Farley that he has been able to locate for inclusion on our website. "I feel that displaying photographs of these two men is particularly important, in light of the fact that they made the supreme sacrifice" Robert said. A group photograph of Love, Stone, Schwaller, Baumbach, and Becker was added a number of months ago.
Any members who could assist him by providing photographs of Snider or Farley or of our aircraft are asked to forward them directly to Robert. He will promptly copy them and return them to you, undamaged. Photographs should be sent to the following address:
Robert J. Yanacek
104 Radio Road
Powells Point, NC 27966
NOTES FROM MEMBERS
Heard from Cliff Dotson who wishes everyone a healthy and happy new year. He reported that they were going to spend New Year's Eve and Day with friends at the lake home of a friend which is about fifty miles from Birmingham. He said that there would be a lot of football on tap and that we should all pull for Auburn.
Their new house is moving along nicely, still on schedule for late February or early March.
His son, Mark, gave him a beautiful book for Christmas entitled "The Marines" which was published by Barnes and Noble under the auspices of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. Cliff found that this was a masterpiece and truly interesting. He recommends it to all and is sure that no one will be bored in reading it.
Stan and Peach Richardson send their New Years best to all members. Wishing all a Happy New Year 2005.
Herk Varellas sends his regards to all, along with wishes for a Happy New Year.
Jim Milhousen says hello and regards to all. His weather report for Schaumburg, IL early one morning was 11 deg outside, with a wind chill of -5 deg. This convinced him that winter has finally arrived. To date they had only received two small snow storms with 5.5 inches of snow.
Excitement has been escaping his neighborhood so he seeks refuge by bowling two days a week. Gives him exercise.
Homer Anderson reports that he and Janett are fine and they wish everyone a good Christmas and New Year. Homer had a heart attack in early summer and is now in cardiac rehab and doing fine. Just doesn't get around much anymore.
Ed Alling sends his best to all. Things are going along great in Maryland but the storms keep coming and going which makes it difficult at times to determine what could be done without having to go outside and shovel snow first.
John and Carol Butler send their Holiday Greetings to all VMB 613'ers. Both of them are fine and were staying home this year to spend Christmas with the family.
Mike and Helen Pasachnik say Happy Holidays to all. All is quiet in their locale but they have been receiving a lot of cold weather with some snow. Based on experience they feel that more snow is still on the way.
They recently celebrated their 51st wedding Anniversary with the help of their daughters memories.
Bill Barber sends his best regards to all. He has been spending most of his time at home as opposed to bike riding, weather isn't too good right now for peddling.
Jack Schwertfager sends New Years Greetings to all. He said that his golf country is still performing to spec at this time of year which has allowed him to go out and play golf as opposed to others who might have to out and shovel snow.
Ned Carmichael sends greetings to all from the Land of Down Under. He is still active in church activities but is preparing to transfer the responsibility of his current church to other church members.
Doc and Jane Protheroe have gone to Florida to check on the reconstruction of the their Condo.
Reports have been received which indicate that some major progress has been made in the reconstruction. They are anticipating staying there for a short extended period. They send New Years greetings to all.
Cliff Willis says New Years Greetings to all. He has been very busy reorganizing his agricultural mineral activities. His recuperation from a serious truck accident gets interrupted occasionally when he forgets about that and endeavors to do some physical work which immediately shuts his system down for rest. His recuperating hip injury gives him the biggest problem.
His area of the state has been very cold with a lot of rain, ice and snow which slows down the wheels of progress at times.
Happy New Year to all VMB 613 family from Warren Ritter. All continues well with him in North Carolina and he hopes that the weather will perform well for the rest of the winter.
Tom Honan sends his regards to all. The weather isn't giving them any problems at this time.
Heard from Al "Zack" Zachwieja who sends New Years greetings to all. He said that every time he reads the monthly newsletter it makes him recollect the happenings in ‘44 and ‘45.
He remembers Carmine Nasta diving off the ship, Marty Martikainen and himself fishing in the lagoon and catching a yellow tail and bonita. One day while out fishing again something big hit Marty's line and snapped the bamboo pole.
Lew Amber gives his best wishes to all for a Happy New Year hopefully hurricane and other disasters free. He continues to stay in good health but has to battle with arthritis. This has caused his golf game to suffer but he is still able to play, at lest for now.
His Florida hurricane report indicated that his area suffered from three hurricanes last fall. Two of them France and Jeanne came ashore two miles from his home and caused devastating damage to the area but more to the north of him. He was fortunate to have only minor damage when neighbors on either side suffered considerable more.
His children, and grandchildren have been able to drop by for visits which is an enjoyable event.
Bob Litzau sends greetings from cold country. It has been really winter in his part of the country with the temperatures around -5 deg with a -8 (-) -16 wind chill factor. They stayed inside where it was warm. The had a great time with children, grandchildren and great grand children over to start off the Xmas season.
Bob was able to have his library borrow Leatherneck Bombers for him. He enjoyed reading it and doing his own analysis of some of the flight activities of the various squadrons.
He sent along a picture of a helicopter which has been nominated by Geo as "THE photo of the year". If space allows it will appear in this newsletter or the next one for sure. This photo is of a British Helicopter rescuing a downed crew member from the ocean with a large shark endeavoring to catch him before he could be pulled up.
John Martincevic son of the late Matthew Martincevic (VMB 613 Cook) sent a photograph of his Dad with several fellow Marines. This photo was from the 1944-1945 era. It has been put on the website for viewing by members.
Robert Baxter son of Herbert Baxter (Communications) reported that he was thrilled to find our website and he found his father's picture. His father is 79 years of age, alive and well.
Robert continued to say that being able to review the website made his father feel much younger again and gave him a new holiday attitude. Robert's request for additional info on VMB 613 that he could show to his Dad was accomplished by sending him a copy of the Communications Department picture and requesting that he endeavor to identify the members shown.
Herb was able to remember many names which was outstanding since he hadn't seen any of his former buddies from over sixty years ago since returning to the states.
JD Garls sends his well wishes to all. He had a very good Christmas and New Years and he is currently in the process of reviewing the Associations financial records for 2004.
Hopefully his favorite football team the Green Bay Packers will be able to continue their wining ways and go on to the Super Bowl.
Mike Jacus says hello and regards to all. He was surprised by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with a copy of Doc Scott's film of the squadron on Kwajalein. On Christmas Day he took the tape with him to view it following Christmas dinner with his family.
He reported that following dinner, he sat down alone to watch the movie. The next thing he knew, his entire family was watching it with him! Mike said that it was really great to see the PBJ's flying again, and that he remembered constructing a wind powered washing machine of his own similar to the ones shown in the film.
Chuck Cannato says that he hopes all the boys and their family had a great Christmas and he hopes all have a great healthy and happy "05. He also said best regards to all.
He mentioned that they had made the trip back home, this time to Connecticut which is close to his old neighborhood. They completed the move just before Christmas. It was a tougher job than he had anticipated and they are now settled in their new condo. Thanks to his children who live nearby the job went well. Their great help was really needed.
Prior to leaving Cape Cod he happened to look through the Roster of the USMC Detachment that he belongs to and saw 613 listed with the name Dick Newton. Dick was Homer Anderson's pilot he remembered. He called Dick and they had a great conversation for over thirty minutes.
Brooke Ligon daughter of Bob Ligon reported that she has completed a major portion of here website dedicated to the memory of her father, and that any members with access to the Internet are welcome to visit this website at: http://www.bobligon.com
AUTHOR IN SEARCH OF INFORMATION ON VMB-613 AIRCRAFT
We received correspondence from Eric Sperger, a former Marine Sergeant who is working on a book which documents World War II aircraft accidents and crashes. Eric learned from our website of the crash landing of one of our PBJ-1Hs in June of 1944 and the loss of two SBD's as a result of engine failure. Eric would like to copy any photographs or to receive information on these accidents, concerning location, dates, pilot, crew and circumstances.
Eric has found reference to a VMB 613 PBJ1C that was severely damaged in a forced landing at Cherry Point on September 28, 1943 and another PBJ1C that was damaged on April 4, 1944 when it skidded on an ice covered runway in Washington, D.C.
Any information on these accidents would also be appreciated. Members with photographs or details regarding these incidents are asked to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or to contact Robert Yanacek so he can pass the information along to him.
While doing research on squadron members listed on the rosters, George Hufford was found to have passed away in November 2, 2003.
Enclosed with this newsletter are three photos of our planes crash site at Ponape. They are in black and white but can be seen on our web site in color. One picture is shown twice only to allow the reading of the equipment name tag information to be more readily discernable. These pictures were taken in December 2004.
Here is an address to be pulled down to view some photos of VMB 613 activity on the line at Kwajalein: http://www3.uakron.edu/majuro/Oldpix/Kwaj1.html
Using this address will for sure pull up a picture entitled Kwaj-Airstrip-1944 and one can see two PBJ1H aircraft and some structures. Jim Garls identified the structures as the area where the Radar Section performed most of their in house modifications and repairs to the squadron air borne radar systems. In addition the structures also housed the various equipments and parts that were required for use in keeping the planes radar equipment in operational order.
The web site continues to receive inquiries from many individuals. They are interested in looking at pictures of the PBJ's. If members have pictures of PBJ's that are not on the web site it would be appreciated if they could loan them to us for inclusion. They will be handled properly and returned after inclusion on the web site.
These photos should be mailed to:
Robert J. Yanacek
104 Radio Road
Powells Point, NC 27966
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.
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.
For security reasons, changes to the roster are not available on-line. Please contact Charlie Knapp for address information.
VMB 613 E-MAIL DIRECTORY LISTING
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."
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