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

PERSONAL MEMORIES

The following collection of personal memories was submitted by squadron members.  This collection describes events in various locations while the contributors were serving with Marine Bombing Squadron Six-Thirteen.

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina

At Cherry Point one of our planes was observed by the control tower landing, apparently without proper clearance.  Radioed from the tower came this comment, "Mike Baker-62, If you can hear me, wiggle your wings."  The reply from the PBJ was, "I will if you will shake your tower."  Contributed by Anonymous

Naval Air Station Boca Chica, Florida

While training at Boca Chica a number of pilots threatened the control tower by banking too close to it upon take-off.  As I recall, several were reprimanded for these daring, but careless actions.  Contributed by James D. Garls

In December, 1943 Major Danser and I were assigned to VMB-613.  Major Baker was our new C.O.  Lieutenant Al Simmons was my copilot.  The rest of the crew consisted of McDonald, Grice, Morris and later Lombardi.  After a few months of training we were sent to Key West, Florida to practice torpedo runs.  We carried 2,000 pound chunks of concrete in the bomb bay to simulate a torpedo.  On one training mission I was flying wing on Major Baker, when his plane started to slow down.  I radioed that I was pulling out of formation to see what the trouble was.  We circled and watched as Major Baker's plane landed wheels up in the Keys.  The water was about four feet deep and the crew climbed out on the wing.  We could see one person lying on the wing.  This turned out to be Major Baker, who had compound fractures of both ankles.  He had both feet on the rudder pedals when the plane crashed and coral tore through the bottom of the plane, causing his injuries.  Later we learned that the cause of the crash was that he had lost and engine and was unable to jettison the concrete.  He could not maintain altitude with such a heavy load and only one engine.  Contributed by John W. Keith, Jr.

Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Field Newport, Arkansas

One night I went on a flight, that produced a frightful experience.  We took off in a heavy rain at Newport, Arkansas.  After we became airborne the pilot made a sudden bank because he was being blinded by the reflection of the landing lights on the rain.  Looking out of a window on the port side I saw that we were not very high above a road and the paralleling power lines.  I thought we were about to crash into the ground, but we quickly pulled up.  As we rose above the storm clouds the landing lights finally went out.  To this day I do not know why the lights were not properly turned off.  I suppose it was the duty of the co-pilot, but perhaps he was one of the newly assigned rookies.  Contributed by James D. Garls

When I was stationed at Newport, I would go home to Cincinnati, Ohio every weekend on a 72 hour pass.  While I was home I would help my mother and father out in their bakery each Saturday, then go out in the evening.  The trip home took 13 hours, and I recall the ticket cost was $13.  How I received these weekend passes was rather interesting.  It so happened that our squadron sergeant major, Sergeant Major Abrams, liked pies.  Being the squadron baker he asked me to bake him a pie on one occasion.  I baked the pie and delivered it to him.  The next day I returned to pick up the pie plate and there was a 72 hour pass for me underneath the empty plate -- no explanation.  It didn't take me but a minute to "get the drift."  I continued to bake pies for the Sergeant Major the whole time we were at Newport, and each time I returned to pick up the empty pie plate, a 72 hour pass was "mysteriously" included with the empty pie plate.  Contributed by Norbert J. Gibbs

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