MARINE BOMBING SQUADRON SIX-THIRTEEN ASSOCIATION
45 Verano Loop
Santa Fe, NM 87508-3151
7 June 2004
Memo To: All Flag Day Celebrants
The Eleventh Biennial Reunion held at the Navy Lodge, Naval Air Station, Pensacola, FL was outstanding. A few early birds arrived a day or so early to get things ready. Get the layout of the Navy Lodge and the surrounding grounds. It took a while to figure where every thing was on the base.
Fortunately we were located across the road from the Naval Aviation Museum. This allowed all to have a reference point to shoot for when they were really lost.
All attendees had a great time in the PBJ Lounge getting caught up on vintage tales of yore.
There was some disappointment over the inability of some members to attend due to medical reasons such doctor appointments etc which couldn't be changed and or sudden family constraints.
From all reports everyone really enjoyed the reunion.
Many thanks to all attendees and to Wayne and Freda Noble who were the reunion committee for the effort that they put in to make this a great affair.
Wayne Noble presented to each member attending the reunion a Marine Corps Red color “T” shirt with a Marine Corps Insignia painted on it in the upper left hand side of the shirt with SQUADRON VMB 613 emblazoned on top of it. Many thanks to Wayne for his gift.
Again we had family members present which was a great thing. Those present were, Vern Begg's son Rick and his wife Katherine, Vern's grandson Cory and his wife Laura, Wayne Nobles's daughter Melanie and her husband David, Bernice Rudewick's daughter Pat, Marty Cullom's daughter Beth, and Beth's son Jordan, John Kennedy's son John and Lloyd McDaniels' son, Harold.
Special activities included being able to witness the Blue Angels who put on an outstanding air show. We were down on the flight line watching them fly back and forth doing precision flying upside down, right side up, climbing and the like.
A trip was also made to the Naval Aviation Museum where different aircraft including a PBJD were on display in a special area outside of the museum. The museum displays were also outstanding and brought back memories to several members. Hopefully over the years they will be able to add more aircraft items so that visitors can see how much progress has been made in aircraft development.
A copy of the History of VMB 613 is in the Museums library for any and all to see and read.
A trip was made to Mobile, Alabama on another day where a major area looked into was an old French Fort of 1730 vintage. It is the oldest Fort in the United States even preceding what we consider the Indian Days.
The attendees reviewed the buildings which were still standing which consisted of Officers Quarters and Enlisted Quarters. They also witnessed the loading and firing of an old musket by a person who looked as old as the musket.
A tour of three historical districts of Mobile was very interesting. The city maintained the architectual techniques of 1730 in maintaining or rebuilding any and all buildings.
This area was originally Spanish, then British and after the Revolutionary War became United States territory.
The Mardi Gras originated in this area not New Orleans and during their celebration they wear costumes of the period.
Upon the conclusion of the tour all went to Lambert's Café for dinner. Lamberts is considered the most unusual diner of all. It lived up to its rating for excellent and plentiful food.
All members said that they had never seen such great food before and if ever they were in the area again that would be the place to return for outstanding food.
Another tour was made of the Naval Air Station Pensacola and the city of Pensacola. The vastness of the Naval Air Station was really outstanding. They have the buildings and runways set up for all support activities both military and family activities. The city of Pensacola is also laid out to support the Air Station and provide necessary services for Naval personnel.
During the Business Meeting the following Officers were elected:
Charles F. Knapp - President
William A. Kehr - Vice President
James D. Garls - Treasurer
The determination of the next reunion was deferred until members who offered their services make an evaluation for the next appropriate site.
It was also voted to move all funds into one main account rather than have it set up in two accounts.
Prior to the start of the banquet a USMC Color Guard brought on the colors and posted them. At the banquet the guest speaker was Colonel David L. Barraclough, Commanding Officer MATSG-21, NAS Pensacola.
The Colonel showed 9/11 video clips of IRAQ direct hits by American equipment showing equipment that guided bombs and other explosives.
The Colonel made an interesting presentation on the future of U.S. Marine Corps Aviation. His charts showed current squadrons and aircraft and what the future would be like starting in four years. He showed a picture of the newly modified KC 130 which will be in the inventory in the very near future. In addition he showed what the improved fighter and attack aircraft would be and their dates for entering service.
At the present time the Marine has 38 Squadrons of fixed wing aircraft and 35 squadrons of rotary aircraft. In the future strategy plans the number of aircraft types in the Marine Corps will be reduced from 23 types to 7 types.
This reduction in aircraft types and the introduction of new models will allow for shorter runways.
The Colonel also mentioned the continuing problem in IRAQ with sand problems for operational aircraft. The sand in that area is very fine and a lot of attention has been given to over come the problem. They have had success with some aircraft but must be continually diligent in maintaining all aircraft.
All of the new aircraft will have improved electronics equipment which will allow for rapid deployment to target areas and the ability to determine precisely the location of enemy aircraft and ground installations.
At the close of banquet hour a Raffle was held and our artist in residence (state of Montana)
Joe Yakawich donated a Western oil painting. The winner would have the picture shipped to them by Joe.
John Gavin donated video tapes of Kwajalein lagoon for the raffle also. The winners were very much interested in viewing the tapes.
Several other items donated by members were well received by the winners.
After the raffle all adjourned to the PBJ Lounge.
NOTES FROM MEMBERS
Received a letter from Harlan and Mary Jason who say hello and happy reunion to all. Mary reported that they are moving on May 21st. They are going to move into an Assisted Living Apartment.
Harlan is doing well but he needs more care than she can provide hence the move where they both can remain together.
Gerry Gutshall was in the hospital with a blood infection but is now at the Altoona Center for Nursing Care a facility for rehab. He will be having a few more weeks of intravenous antibiotics and hopefully that will be it.
The Lewis's reported that Jim had been in the hospital for something, they never really heard what the problem was. After a stay of four days they sent him home with instructions to go to his regular doctor which in turn meant appointments with other specialists. Hence all this made it impossible for them to attend the reunion.
Instead of the reunion all their time has been spent going to doctors and watching the birds return now that spring has finally arrived.
They send their regards to all and have a good reunion.
Bob and Helene Polakowski said their prayers would be with all of us at the reunion and that this reunion would be as great as all we've had in the past.
Bob also sent a message of thanks to the 613 family for their sincere affections in their family loss.
Ned Carmichael reported in from down under (South Australia) and was sorry to report that he and Berry would not be able to make the reunion. He would have liked to get to Pensacola again...he was there a couple times while in VMB 613. Betty wasn't up for such along trip but he's hoping for the next one.
John Peterson reported in to say that he and Jane would be unable to attend the reunion. Jane has had to undergo several tests in an attempt to isolate some medical problems and he had to undergo a second detached retina operation in his left eye. He was cautioned about flying or going over any mountain passes for six weeks, hence no trip to Pensacola for him either.
He sends his best to everyone and hopes that they have a great time at the reunion.
Received a message from Nicole E Tanksley, (Matt's granddaughter) who wished that she could have made the reunion but that it falls within the dates of her finals at school.
She sends her love to everyone and wants all to know that she misses them.
Robert Yanacek who is our webmaster has informed me that members can pull up the VMB 613 website at any time from now on. Although he is still editing his effort will not be interrupted. The website address is http://www.vmb-613.com
Robert would like to have members send him pictures of Reunion 2004 so that he can add them to the VMB-613 website.
The address for forwarding the pictures is as follows:
Robert J. Yanacek
Powells Point NC 27966
Robert has heard from Stan Gajda on Ponape. He is an airplane archeologist who still looks over the PBJ remains of VMB 613's aircraft.
He reported that there not much left at the crash site at Palikir he suspects that quite a bit of material is buried along the steep hillside below the engine. A while ago he had a look with a metal detector and found that there was a lot of reading of large items below the surface.
Investigating one of these revealed a burnt area with a lot of .50 cal ammo and structural fragments. Even a .38 special round was recovered and some fabric insulation material.
It could be one of the anomalies there is the 75mm gun. I am thinking that further investigation is just about warranted. Also near the tail are two 500lb GP bombs which had the fuses removed, no tails but probably part of the aircraft's bomb load. Would one these be an appropriate relic for the VMB 613?
Robert continues to work on data for the website. He has completed the enhanced version of the VMB Insignia. He further stated that now it should be an exact colorized version of the one from Kwajalein. On your computer it will show up in color.
To assist Robert in his Personnel Roster Links Project it would be a great aid if members would look at the pictures of the various departments on the WEB isolate their department and forward to him the names of the members that they recognize.
Robert also communicated with HQMC Historical Division and had them update their WWII records to indicate the VMB 613 rates the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Streamer. This is now recorded in the VMB-613 unit file at the Historical Branch.
Some of the upgrades to the website will be part of this newsletter so that members can see what has been added and following instructions be able to pull up the data.
William W. DeWilde passed away on April 15, 2004. William (Bill) joined VMB 613 from a fighter squadron at Roi-Namur in March 1945 and was in ground Ordnance. He was transferred to Miramar in April 1945. In civilian life he had a career in banking in the Cape Cod area of MA starting in Provincetown, MA and became President of the First National Bank of Provincetown.
Remember that our new fiscal year started in January 2004. 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: (03) denotes 2003, (04) denotes 2004. 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 are out of stock on the Red VMB 613 caps. Efforts are in process to find a qualified organization to supply us with a restock of the caps.
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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