PBJ-1C ▪ MB-151 of VMB-613 ▪ February 1944
Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen‘s operational strength consisted of 15 PBJ-1H aircraft. Prior to deploying to the Central Pacific, VMB-613 utilized various models of the PBJ-1, denoted by the alpha-character following the aircraft type.
Provided within this section is general information relevant to all PBJ-1 types operated by Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen. Interior photographs, supplemental information, and specifications of each type of aircraft is provided in sub-sections that may be accessed by clicking on the appropriate PBJ model.
PBJ-1C - The first PBJ-1s assigned to VMB-613 were PBJ-1Cs, the navalized equivalent of the U.S. Army Air Force’s (USAAF) B-25C. These aircraft has been designed for use as medium altitude horizontal bombing, but the USAAF had proven them adaptable to skip-bombing. They were equipped with dual controls, and had their underside turret removed and a radome housing AN/APS-2 ("George") search radar installed in its place. PBJ-1Cs operated by VMB-613 were armed with five .50 caliber machine guns -- one in the nose in a flexible mount, two fixed .50 caliber machine mounted on the starboard side of the nose firing through holes cut into the side of the Plexiglas glazing, and two in a power operated turret in the after mid-section.
PBJ-1Cs operated by the VMB-613 were finished in the standard color scheme adopted by the U.S. Navy in February 1943 -- blue-gray on the aircraft’s upper surfaces and white on the lower surfaces.
PBJ-1D - In late January of 1944 the squadron received PBJ-1Ds, the navalized equivalent of the USAAF B-25D. Although similar in appearance to the PBJ-1C, these aircraft had additional firepower, and unlike the USAAF‘s B-25Ds had a manually-operated gunner’s position similar to later model B-25s added to the tail. The PBJ-1Ds operated by VMB-613 had the same armament configuration as the PBJ-1Cs and additional .50 caliber machine guns -- one in the tail, one on each side in the waist position, and four “package guns” (two on each side) below the pilot’s compartment. VMB-613’s use of this type of aircraft was destined to be short lived, for they were withdrawn in March and April 1944 to receive radar modifications, and were subsequently sent into combat with replacement crews for the Marine Bomber Squadrons that preceded VMB-613’s deployment overseas.
PBJ-1Ds operated by the squadron were finished in the same color scheme as their PBJ-1Cs.
PBJ-1J - Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen’s use of the PBJ-1J, the navalized equivalent of the B-25J, was virtually nil. Squadron records do indicate that one PBJ-1J was received at the end of July 1944. However this aircraft was immediately flown to the Consolidated-Vultee Modification Center at Elizabeth City, North Carolina for radar installation and naval modifications and was subsequently replaced with a PBJ-1H.
The squadron’s PBJ-1J was finished in the standard three-tone color scheme adopted by the U.S. Navy in March of 1944 -- sea blue, intermediate sea blue, and white.