Memo To: The Super Patriots
Allan Protheroe left Hilton Head several weeks ago to return
to Punta Gordo, FL to observe and get a little involved in
the repairs to his condo that was pretty well decimated by
He reported that things are just getting settled down around
there, and they were able to move back to their condo just a
few weeks ago. Going through all of the required
reconstruction has been challenging and time consuming, but
in a way things have turned out favorably in that everything
is new inside and out including the furniture.
One important item that did not weather with the hurricane
well was the computer. It did suffer some water damage
and apparently it was not pleased with the trauma of
experiencing the hurricane and it's several months in a
storage warehouse. For on start-up, after reassembly,
we continue to have many weird happenings. I know you,
as well as, most other with computers know what I mean when
I say this black box can at times drive one right up the
wall. About the only thing the thing does with any
consistency is read and send e-mail. If I can get it
to do that, I can get by.
The Protheroe's had lunch with Lene and Bob Polakowski the
other week and they are planning to return soon for lunch.
Both Bob and Doc were able to see a PBJ and old B-17 that
visited them at their small country airport.
Doc was aware of the day that they were supposed to fly in
but he and Jane got weary of waiting for their arrival at
the airport and returned home. A few hours later Doc
was sitting reading the paper and suddenly he heard the roar
of that ever so familiar sound, a pair of Wright radial
engines. He dashed outside and there she was heading
for the airport..an unforgettable sound.
The visit of this B-25 to Punta Gorda was part of "The
Freedom Tour" to honor World War II veterans.
They will be entertained by the Blue Angels here in a couple
of weeks also. They have seen them many times, but it
is always an inspiring and exciting show.
Although Doc and Jane had never met them they knew that
Leonard and Teresa Del Vecchio live in Punta Gorda too and
that unfortunately their home was also completely destroyed
as a result of Hurricane Charley.
They finally got to meet them in their new home and they
were happy to hear how much they enjoyed their first reunion
in Pensacola. They were very appreciative of the
effort made to have Leonard's name stitched on the 613
Doc Scott sends his fond greetings to his very good friends
of VMB 613. As our ranks thin I appreciate more keenly
what a brotherhood in the service (especially with Marines)
can mean. He is going to be 99 years of age in August
and is now legally blind, but he still reads the squadron
letter with enthusiasm. It was great to know that the
8mm movies and stills that I took are still in use by many
of you. Best wishes and Thanks. Clifford Scott, M.D.
Doc also sent as a special mailing a write up on the
invasion of Iwo Jima which was the bloodiest battle of WWII.
Ed Alling wrote that he really appreciated the efforts of
the Ponape Island dignitaries who on their own initiative
conducted the commemorative services for VMB 613. This
is fantastic! To see this kind of response, after all
the years, is almost unbelievable.
He also enjoyed seeing the PBJ'S in the latest news letter.
The PBJ with name Miss-Carriage over the opening for the
75mm cannon was the name of plane that his crew flew in.
He was desirous of obtaining a better copy so I referred him
to our web page and also said that if that didn't suffice
let me know and I would endeavor to get one e mailed to him.
Jim Kendall sends his regards to all. All is
continuing well with them. Jim appreciated receiving
the information about the VMB 613 Web Page and he has taken
the time to start his review of the information contained
Jim mentioned that he and Zoe are docents at the Ano Neuvo
State Reserve, in Pescadero, CA., 40 miles south of San
Francisco. They work with the public and define the
history of the Northern Elephant seals and how they have
survived from near extinction in the late 1870's and
have recovered very strongly in the last 40/50 years.
Jim DePasque says hello and regards to all. He is
still up and around but has to watch his movements due to
cardiac problems. Limited travel is on their agenda
due to this problem so every move is made with great
planning. Hopefully they will be able to make a trip
to Phoenix this year and take in some real warm weather for
a week or so. He is going to have his daughter check
out the VMB 613 WEB page and than make plans to get over to
her house and have a look at Kwaj again, as well as, the
other items that are sure to be pictured on the site.
John Kennedy says hello to the surviving radio repair men.
They survived hurricanes Jean and Francis except for damage
to the screened patio. Many people suffered severely
with failed roof and interior damage.
He also sent along some pictures of blue roof country.
The article emphasized that the building codes were not
tough enough, hence they were not prepared. It took
ten years to enact a new code but it failed to prevent
billions of dollars in damages and failed to stop thousands
of lives from being thrown into turmoil.
I was able to re-locate Carl Ellison who says hello to all.
All is continuing well with him. He received some
damage to his mobile home during the hurricane but it was
light compared to friends who received terrible damage, even
to the extent of full loss of their trailers. His new
address is at the close to the news letter.
Although he doesn't
have a computer his son does and he is going to pull up the
WEB page on his son's
computer and bring back memories of Kwaj.
Had an opportunity to speak with Fred Grzeskowiak who says
hello to all. He said that he was still living in the
same old house. He started living in it in 1939 and it
is still holding up fine. Physically he has slowed
down a little, knee replacements and a hip operation.
It has been quite a while but he remembers being in contact
with Gerry Gutshall a few times in the past. His
daughter has a computer and she took down the WEB Site
address and Fred is going to start checking up on Kwaj
Had an opportunity to speak to Mark Brandsgard who says
hello and regards to all. Everything continues well
with them. He was impressed with the fact that the
Ponape government and the American government
representatives conducted a memorial service on the 60th
anniversary of the loss of our personnel and aircraft.
I gave him the address of our website and he is going to
pull it up and bring back memories of Kwaj.
Left word with Olin Parks regarding our webpage and he said
many thanks and regards to all.
Spoke to Carl Klingeman who sends his best regards to all.
Everything is continuing well in orchard land and they are
doing their planning for a successful crop. I gave him
the address for the WEB page and he said that he would be
pulling it up at once.
R.L. Marx called from Arizona to report that all is well
with Alice and himself. They will be in Arizona until
around the 1st of April when they have to return
home and pacify the tax man.
They send their regards to everyone.
Foster and Doris Cummings send their regards to all.
Foster decided to let the snow stay behind and they went on
a trip to Maine. The weather was quite decent and they
enjoyed seeing a few tourist spots without the large influx
of tourists. After a week of relaxing they returned
home to wait for the next snow storm.
Jim and Mary Jane Lewis send their best to all. They
have been having a great time relaxing in Texas and are now
starting to pack their sea bags to return home.
They sent along a newspaper picture, in color, of the
swimming pool at their motel which was loaded with out of
state visitors walking in the pool and floating in the
water. In addition they sent along some newspaper
clippings which reminded all the readers of the 60th
Anniversary of the Iwo Jima Invasion.
A group of re-enactors were also pictured with their rifles
and combat gear as they prepared for the landing at Iwo.
They had explosives going off in their field positions as
they moved forward in the attack phase.
Tracie and Margaret Bell send their regards to all.
They are keeping indoors as much as possible while the
stormy weather prevails.
Lester Robinson says hello to all. All remains well
with him. He is waiting for the baseball season to get
rolling and is wondering how great the players will be this
without any special assistance from stimulants etc.
Joe Yakawich sends best of everything to all. He also
sent along a new style picture, this one was of fisherman as
opposed to the western pictures from the olde days. He
Siree, Fishing ain't what it use to be, but then
neither am I."
This new type of painting is in water colors and the fishing
theme is what he does the most of now. He makes them
into a comic type routine.
His weather has been unusual, very little snow or rain which
means if it doesn't
start doing something soon, no fishing this summer, no water
available in the streams etc. He reported that his son
the LtCol is still doing great, busy all the time.
John Gavin sends his best to all. He has had a quiet
winter, but did have his right hip replaced in October and
it is coming along fine, the left hip was replaced twenty
one years ago and no problems have come up to bother him.
He sent along some pictures, one of which shows all the
mech-gunners with their autograph on the back. Another
picture with nine Marines from VMB 613 was taken in San
Diego on the first night of liberty back in the states.
There was one unidentified member of 613 in this liberty run
picture but in working with Foster Cummings he was
Jack Virga says hello to all. He reported that he
hears from Carmine Nasta around Xmas time every year.
Jack reported that he has been retired for several years
now. He followed the trend on retirement and moved out
to the country, after about five years the silence got to
them so they moved back to the city.
He keeps active in different organizations and in one of
them the head of the organization asked him if he was a
Marine and he responded in the affirmative. The person
said I thought so, all you Marines are so full of enthusiasm
it is outstanding.
Ray and Betty Hickey send their greetings from Washington
State. They mentioned that in the eastern part of the
state where they live they haven't
had any rain or snow for the entire month of February - the
driest on record.
They recently celebrated their 60th anniversary
on January 28. Ray's
health has been fairly good and he is waiting for the warmer
weather to arrive so that he can cut six full cords of wood
for next season. Betty has been on chemotherapy weekly
since November. Hopefully her cancer which had been in
remission for seventeen years will be cured by this current
John Aymen mentioned last month that he and Wanda were in
the process of looking for a new home. Now they are in
the process of moving into it. Their new address is at
the end of the Newsletter.
Called Ike Stern to make him aware of the WEB Site and he
was out. Had a great conversation with Jan and she
reported that Ike was doing all right. He has had to
overcome some health problems and is hanging in there.
They have received phone calls from Carmine Nasta and he
keeps them informed of various 613 events. They both
send their best to all.
Received news from Betty Robinson that Frank has been
suffering from a severe infection and has been under very
close medical observation. He is now starting to feel
better and hopefully will be up and around as before real
soon. Betty sends their regards to all.
Chuck Cannato reported that all continues well in
Connecticut and they are getting adjusted to new quarters.
He received as a gift from his granddaughter a great
computer which he is now in the throes of determining how to
properly operate it. He managed to get an e mail off
to me so he is on the road to mastering it.
Anthony Blaso sends his best regards to all. He
reported that he is feeling pretty good and takes a lot of "hoss"
pills to help him move around. As a former
construction firm operator he at times keeps busy on various
emergency jobs which he says helps to keep his health system
in line and also his leg muscles which tend to get bound up
I gave him the website address and he is going to have his
son in law who is in computer sales pull it down and then
get over to take in all that is available. He is sure
that memories of Kwaj will be outstanding.
Heard from Joseph Cairns who sends his best to all. We
had a great time reminiscing about events at Kwaj. He
is now 90 years of age and sounds as though he was 20 when
he was bringing back the memories of different events at
Kwaj. He remembered the names of some of the islands that
our planes either were stationed at or flew over them on
While Sgt of The Guard for a day or so he heard noise coming
from the Mess Hall early in the AM one morning and went over
to see what was going on.
People were in there to get fried eggs, such as sunny side
up, over easy and even scrambled, these edible eggs came
from real egg shells instead of the normal dried eggs that
most of us had to eat. They made him a special guest
to partake of the meal since he was the Sgt of The Guard.
Joe said that he still manages to get around but has to use
a walker. By driving in the day light he is still able
to get around and get to the super market and the like.
Spoke to Maxwell Cobbey who says hello and regards to all.
He has spent several years as an overseas missionary and put
several years in Viet Nam. Now that he is supposedly
retired he still manages to assist different Christian
organizations in their responsibilities.