Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen
October 1, 1943 - November 21, 1945
VMB-613 Insignia

SQUADRON INSIGNIA

Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen's squadron insignia has an interesting history, and was shrouded in mystery for over sixty years.

Upon the commissioning of VMB-613, RKO studio artist Hank Porter, who contributed his talent in support of the war effort, submitted a proposed design.  This design, set on a circular red background, depicted a bumble-bee standing atop a cloud and dropping a bomb (below left).  This insignia was never officially adopted and was subsequently reassigned to VPB-139 on November 29, 1944.   

The official squadron insignia (below center), was selected from designs submitted by squadron members and forwarded to the Bureau of Aeronautics for approval in early 1944.  Set on a red circular background, it depicted a winged gorilla sitting atop a bomb, firing a machine gun.  The actual artwork for this insignia was most likely the product of Disney Studio artists. 

The official squadron insignia was not popular with the men of the squadron, especially once its role changed from medium-level horizontal bombing to anti-shipping and close air support.  One morning on Kwajalein, it was discovered that some enterprising Marine had taken the matter of the squadron insignia into his own hands.  Outside the Officers' Club, a new squadron insignia (below right) proudly hung!  This "new" squadron insignia was set on a circular red background.  Centered on the background were Naval Aviator wings with a globe and anchor.  Above the wings were three maces. The main feature was a 75mm cannon tube with a skull in the muzzle, proudly denoting VMB-613's unique status as only Marine Bombing Squadron to utilize the cannon-armed PBJ-1H in combat. 

Efforts by the squadron to officially change its insignia through the Bureau of Aeronautics to this "new" one were subsequently disapproved.  Nonetheless, the "unofficial insignia" remains the one that the Marines of the squadron associate with VMB-613. 

As for the Marine who took the initiative to design it -- his identity remained a mystery until 2006 when he was identified as the squadron's utilities officer, First Lieutenant James R. Edmunds III.

Proposed VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Officially Approved VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Unofficial VMB-613 Squadron Insignia

Proposed Insignia

Image: Brian French

Officially Approved Insignia

Image: Bureau of Aeronautics

Unofficial Insignia

Image: VMB-613 Association

CLICK ON THUMBNAIL IMAGES TO VIEW FULL-SIZE IMAGES IN A NEW WINDOW

Officers' Club Thumbnail Image VMB-613 Sign Thumbnail Image

Officers' Club

VMB-613 Sign

Updated: 03 Jan 2016    Top of Page    Previous Page    Print this Page