All Flag Day Celebrants
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.
attendees had a great time in the PBJ Lounge getting caught
up on vintage tales of yore.
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.
reports everyone really enjoyed the reunion.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
was originally Spanish, then British and after the
Revolutionary War became United States territory.
Gras originated in this area not New Orleans and during
their celebration they wear costumes of the period.
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
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.
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.
the Business Meeting the following Officers were elected:
F. Knapp - President
A. Kehr - Vice President
Garls - Treasurer
determination of the next reunion was deferred until members
who offered their services make an evaluation for the next
also voted to move all funds into one main account rather
than have it set up in two accounts.
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.
Colonel showed 9/11 video clips of IRAQ direct hits by
American equipment showing equipment that guided bombs and
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.
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.
reduction in aircraft types and the introduction of new
models will allow for shorter runways.
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.
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.
close of banquet hour a Raffle was held and our artist in
residence (state of Montana)
Yakawich donated a Western oil painting. The winner
would have the picture shipped to them by Joe.
Gavin donated video tapes of Kwajalein lagoon for the raffle
also. The winners were very much interested in viewing
other items donated by members were well received by the
raffle all adjourned to the PBJ Lounge.
Dotson, Ray M.
Noble, Wayne & Freda
Beggs, Vernon & Anne
Ohlson, Alex & Jennie
Beggs, Rick & Katherine
Honan, Thomas & Margaret
Richardson, Stan & Peaches
Beggs, Cory & Laura
Hudspeth, Sandy & Marie
Garls, James D.
Russell, Calvin & Joyce
Couchman, David & Melanie
Kehr, William & Marian
Siergewicz, John & Doris
Kennedy, John M. Sr.
Kennedy, John M. Jr.
Beck, Jordan R.
Knapp, Charles F.
Cummings, Foster & Doris
Marx, R.L. & Alice
Delviccio, Leonard & Teresa
NOTES FROM MEMBERS
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.
doing well but he needs more care than she can provide hence
the move where they both can remain together.
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.
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.
of the reunion all their time has been spent going to
doctors and watching the birds return now that spring has
their regards to all and have a good reunion.
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.
sent a message of thanks to the 613 family for their sincere
affections in their family loss.
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.
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
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.
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
like to have members send him pictures of Reunion 2004 so that
he can add them to the VMB-613 website.
for forwarding the pictures is as follows:
heard from Stan Gajda on Ponape. He is an airplane
archeologist who still looks over the PBJ remains of VMB 613's
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.