MARINE BOMBING SQUADRON SIX-THIRTEEN ASSOCIATION
45 Verano Loop
Santa Fe, NM 87508-3151
1 May 2009
MEMO TO: MY FELLOW LEATHERNECKS AND VMB-613 FRIENDS
This newsletter is a departure from the normal routine due to serious and unforeseen circumstances. As a result, I Robert Yanacek, am publishing this newsletter to ensure the membership remains up-to-date regarding recent news and activities.
I am saddened to report that Charlie Knapp is currently hospitalized near his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. According to the information I have gathered from Charlie’s daughter and neighbors, he apparently fell off a ladder sometime Easter weekend. A few days later he was taken to the hospital where it was discovered that he may have broken some ribs. To complicate matters, Charlie was apparently dehydrated and in a listless state.
As of this newsletter, Charlie’s condition remains very serious. In my correspondence with Charlie’s daughter, Caroline, it is highly likely that once he is released from the hospital, he will require care in a skilled nursing facility. Right now Charlie’s son and daughter plan to get him the care he will need in Colorado Springs, Colorado—near the home of his son.
Charlie is currently receiving visits at the hospital from his son, daughter, and at least three wonderful neighbors. His beloved dachshund, Hanzi, is being well cared for by his neighbors, who are also keeping an eye on his home.
Charlie has already received a number of “Get-Well” cards from members who I was able to make aware of his condition via e-mail. Charlie really appreciated the thoughts of so many of his good Marine buddies. Anyone wishing to send him a letter or a card may do so by mailing it to his home address:
Charles F. Knapp
45 Verano Loop
Santa Fe, NM 87508-8351
NOTES FROM MEMBERS AND VMB-613 FRIENDS: I received a note from a gentleman named Dan King. Dan is currently visiting Ponape and wrote to let us know that he recently visited the crash site of Bill Love’s PBJ with VMB-613 friend, Stan Gajda. He was upset to learn that virtually all the wreckage was sold to and removed from the site by a Chinese salvage company. Although this salvage was illegal—since the wreckage of all naval aircraft remains the property of the Navy—there is probably nothing that can be done since the wreckage has already been removed. Sadly, the only pieces that remain are a single engine and a pair of unexploded 500-pound general purpose bombs.
Vern Beggs is doing well. I received a note from him reporting that the Easter season brought him many reasons to celebrate. Vern enjoyed a visit from his son and daughter-in-law Easter weekend, and was visited the following weekend by his other son, his grandson, and great-granddaughter. During the middle of the month Al and Marlys Varner dropped by while on their way home to South Bend, Indiana to say “hello” and reminisce about old times. Vern enjoyed all the visits and mentioned that he and Al bunked next to each other on Kwaj.
I spoke with “JD” Garls who, as always, sends his best regards to all his fellow 613’ers. “JD” reported that although he has difficulty in moving around the house, all remains as well as can be expected in Pekin. During our conversation, he reported that he contacted “Hoss” Cummings and informed him of Charlie Knapp’s illness, since “Hoss” does not have an e-mail account. “JD” also indicated that he recently received a phone call from Nathan LaRicca, grandson of squadron radar technician Dale Faith. On the phone with Nathan, was Dale’s widow, Dorothy. All three of them chatted for quite a while and “JD” was able to provide them both with a great deal of insight on Dale Faith and VMB-613.
Like “JD”, I too spoke with Nathan LaRicca recently. Nathan and I have been exchanging e-mails for a number of weeks, and we recently had a very lengthy telephone conversation. Nathan is very interested in learning about the squadron and the activities of his grandfather during the Second World War. He is amazed that so much information has been preserved and made available and he has spent a great deal of time reading the information on the website and viewing the hundreds of photographs. As such, he had a long list of questions. I did the best I could to answer his questions and we both agreed as to the importance for sons, daughters, and grandchildren to preserve the squadron’s history. Nathan also sent me the below photograph, which was taken on Bennett Island on 29 July 1945. Based on my own Marine Corps service, it’s amusing to see that some things—like chow lines—never change!
I also sent Nathan a few photographs our VMB-613 hat that has been out stock for a while. Nathan is in communication with a number of vendors who may be able to make them. If anyone is interested in purchasing one or more, please let me know so I can provide the estimated number of hats we will need. The more hats we order, the cheaper each hat will be. Although we do not yet have a cost, I expect that it will probably be between $15 and $20. This estimate is based on the fact that the hats that were purchased a number of years ago cost $10 each.
I received a message from Davey Ellen Bayer, daughter of squadron aerial photographer, Dave Snider. Davey Ellen informed me that her mother, Lenore, passed away a few months ago. Some may recall that Dave and Lee were married while the squadron was at Newport. At the funeral Davey Ellen reconnected with an old relative and discovered that this relative had introduced her mother and father to each other in 1944. Thus, she was able to get some additional first-hand information on her father. In closing, Davey Ellen sent her best wishes to one and all.
In a note received from Robert Klinke, son of squadron radio-gunner Alvin Klinke, Robert reported that he had got a message to Bob Polakowski concerning Charlie Knapp’s condition. Sadly, Robert also informed me that his mother, Florence, passed-away on Thursday, 16 April 2009 at the age of 83.
CONDOLENCES: We extend our heartfelt condolences to the Klinke and Snider families on the loss of their respective mothers. May they find solace in the knowledge of our thoughts and prayers, and may their departed loved-ones rest forever in peace.
NEWS FROM THE WORLD-WIDE-WEB: In my travels on the Internet, I recently discovered that a company in Poland, named Orlik, created a very large 1:33 scale model of one of VMB-613’s aircraft! The aircraft they modeled is MB-8, which was named “8-Ball” by its pilots, Jack Barton and Robert Litzau.
The model appears to be fairly accurate in its details as evidenced by the wingtip radome, the lack of package guns, and the navigator’s astrodome in place of the upper turret. A rendering of model’s box top can be to the right.
VMB-613 FLASHBACK: I wanted to share the below photograph with those who do not have Internet access to our website. Taken on Eniwetok in early February of 1945, this photograph was sent to me by Terry Manning, son of squadron pilot, Jerry Manning. Those pictured in the front row are (L-R) First Lieutenants Wayne Youngren, Bob Love, and Jerry Manning. Those in the back row are (L-R) Unidentified, First Lieutenants John Riblet, Dick Newton, and Tom Houston.
1945 USO TOUR: I received a copy of the below photograph that was taken when a USO troupe visited Kwajalein in July 1945. In the center of the photograph is actor, Jack Carson, while the young lady on the right is Chili Williams. I have a few photos of this same group in 613’s area—the officer’s club, the recreation hall, and playing basketball. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who recalls the names of any of the other women in this photograph.
VMB-613 ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP: Remember that our new fiscal year started in January 2009. Members are asked to check their records to ensure their dues are current. Annual dues are $20. Checks should be made out to the “VMB-613 Association.” Your dues are necessary to defray the costs associated with the continued publication of this newsletter.
That is all for now.
Robert J. Yanacek
M/Sgt, USMCR (Ret)
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.
These memorabilia items can be ordered from Charlie Knapp.
Here is a VMB 613 Special from McGrogan's Patch Design. A cloth patch five inches in diameter which is the standard WWII size. This is the VMB 613 squadron logo patch in color. The cost to VMB 613 members is $3.50 per patch. Order direct from the following address:
McGrogran's Patch Design
PO Box 2254
Hayden, ID 83835
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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