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

TRANSFER TO MCAAF NEWPORT

On August 3, 1944 VMB-613 and VMB-614 moved to MCAAF Newport.  This facility had been a USAAF basic training airfield, and was acquired by the Marine Corps when the Army closed it down.  Under the operational control of Marine Air Group 34 (MAG-34), VMB-613 was the first to arrive and found the facility to their liking.  Housing accommodations both in town and on the base were adequate for married officers and enlisted personnel, and the town of Newport was not crowded with military personnel.  Additionally, the people of Newport were very hospitable towards Marines.  With excellent railroad facilities and the close proximity to the cities of Little Rock, Arkansas, Memphis, Tennessee, and Saint Louis, Missouri, liberty proved to be excellent. 

While at MCAAF Newport, flight training continued along the same lines as Cherry Point with the main emphasis on pilots qualifying for instrument ratings.  All pilots were checked and issued their red or white cards.  Further training included map reading, survival intelligence, war background studies, geography of the Pacific, radar, swimming, ground defense, ditching procedures, sanitation, first aid, military sketching, enemy naval and merchant ships, and aircraft recognition.  While this training was in progress, the squadron finally received its full complement of navigators, five officers and twenty-two enlisted men.  Unfortunately, most of these men had very little flying experience.  In addition to the navigators, personnel joining the squadron during August included First Lieutenant James R. Edmunds, USMCR, of Baltimore, Maryland and First Lieutenant Jack A. Gant, USMCR, of Port Aransas, Texas who were assigned as maintenance and ground defense officer, and assistant communications officer, respectively.

In September, the squadron’s PBJ-1Hs began to arrive at MCAAF Newport from their last modifications at Cherry Point.  Although these aircraft were completely equipped with all the necessary gear, a last minute change was made at Newport by removing the AN/APG-13 radar gun director and replacing it with the modified AN/APG-13A.  Added to the squadron's roster in September was Second Lieutenant Donald C. McCune, USMCR, of Warren, Ohio as the assistant intelligence officer.  By early October, VMB-613 had received all of its remaining aircraft and personnel, including Second Lieutenant Thomas A. Moorhead, USMCR, of Atchison, Kansas who was assigned as the squadron radar officer.  Also joining the squadron was First Lieutenant Van B. Nixon, USMCR, of Fredonia, New York who was assigned as engineering officer.  His assignment to this billet necessitated First Lieutenant Larini being reassigned as assistant engineering officer.  Rumors again began to circulate that the squadron would be deploying to the Pacific within a short period of time.  Again, these rumors proved to be true when the squadron received orders to proceed overseas in the latter part of October.  In preparation for deployment all flying ceased on October 14, 1944, all pay accounts were settled, insurance, wills, and allotment documents were prepared, and excess gear was turned-in to the Group Quartermaster or Navy Supply.

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    MCAAF Newport Thumbnail Image

MB-152 Over Newport

VMB-613 at MCAAF Newport

MCAAF Newport

PBJ-1H at MCAAF Newport Thumbnail Image Mechanic-Aircrewmen Thumbnail Image Ordnance Thumbnail Image

PHJ-1H at MCAAF Newport

Mechanic-Aircrewmen

Ordnance Marines

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