21 June 1988
A MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
In October of 1943 a group of Marines came together and formed Marine Bombing Squadron 613 (VMB-613) at Cherry Point, North Carolina. The squadron flew the heavily armed PBJ-1H’s, better known to the public at large as the famous B-25.
Following and intense period of training, the squadron deployed to the Pacific Theatre and began combat operations against the Japanese Imperial Empire in late 1944. In addition to numerous combat strikes against Japanese forces, VMB-613 also contributed significantly to the Pacific war effort with its convoy patrols, regular sector searches, and hunter-killer missions.
The old adage of “Once a Marine, always a Marine” is truly representative of the member of VMB-613. Your squadron symbol-izes the camaraderie, which Marines invariably develop whenever serving together, especially under combat conditions. The trust, dependence upon on another, and life-long friendships that your formed were, and are, indicative of what the Marine Corps has always stood for.
So, as you gather together during your reunion to meet old friends and tell a sea story or two, please accept the grateful thanks of all Marines, both past and present, for your many contributions during a time of need for our Nation. Semper Fidelis!
A. M. GRAY
General, U.S. Marine Corps