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


Marine Corps Auxiliary Air Field Newport, Arkansas

When we departed Newport for the west coast prior to going to the Pacific, the flight section was to fly to El Paso, Texas.  Each plane took its place at the head of the runway.  When it was our turn to take off, the pilot revved up the engines to full speed and then almost immediately pulled up the landing gear.  I don't know how far we went down the strip before the gear was raised.  I do know that we skimmed very close to the ground for a long period of time before we rose to a respectable altitude.  I wonder if others recall these take-offs?  I think this action was described as "taking off from the step."  Contributed by James D. Garls

Central Pacific

A sign above the backbar of the Chief Petty Officer's club at Eniwetok read: "The Marine Corps ain't what it used to be, but it never was!"  Contributed by James D. Garls

While heading from California to Pearl Harbor aboard the USAT George W. Julian there was a very bad storm shortly after we departed.  At one point during the storm I was making some chocolate pudding, and I left the galley for a minute to get some fresh air.  While I was doing so, the ship hit a very bad wave and dropped into the trough -- probably about forty feet.  I rushed back to the galley to find that the pudding had been hurled from the bowl, landing on the bulkhead and overhead.  It was one hell of a mess!  Contributed by Norbert J. Gibbs

While on Kwajalein the Marines of the our department acquired a Japanese dory.  We repaired it during our off-duty hours and made is seaworthy -- we even built a cabin on it.  When it was completed we were able to cruise the lagoon and visit many of the islands in Kwajalein Atoll.  Contributed by Robert W. Longenberger

We had a large number of rats living on Kwajalein.  They were huge -- about the size of a cat.  As I was the squadron baker, I worked in the evening.  One night I went into a storeroom to retrieve some supplies.  The room was dark, but I went in nonetheless.  As I got in the room I felt a jolt as something hit my shoulder.  I turned towards the open door where there was some light.  As I did this I saw an enormous rat sitting atop my shoulder.  I yelled and ran out of that storeroom fast!  Fortunately, the rat had had enough too, and jumped from my shoulder onto the floor where is scurried away.  I never went into that storeroom ever again.  Contributed by Norbert J. Gibbs  

Anytime an aircraft returned from a mission, we needed to find out if the 75mm cannon had been used.  If it had, we began a lengthy process to look over the entire aircraft.  This was necessary as the firing of that cannon caused hydraulic leaks, and rivets in the airframe to shear-off.  We used flashlights and crawled over every inch of the aircraft to locate leaks and damaged rivets so that they could be repaired before the next mission.  Contributed by Michael Jacus Jr.

On Kwajalein we had an ice-cream machine.  Unfortunately, no one knew how we were supposed to make ice-cream since we did not have a recipe.  I wrote to my mother and asked her to send me the recipe.  She sent me the recipe, however the ingredients were not readily available so we had to improvise a bit.  We use powdered milk and powdered eggs to make the ice-cream.  Then for the flavoring -- I used cocoa powder to make chocolate ice cream and strawberry jam to make it into strawberry ice-cream.  Contributed by Norbert J. Gibbs

In 1945, squadron member John Gavin lost his high school class ring in Kwajalein Lagoon.  Over 40 years later, it is discovered and returned to him.  Read StoryContributed by John J. Gavin

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