Memo To: All The Snow Shovelers
Many thanks to all for the phone calls, e mail messages, cards
and letters on the subject of New Years.
60th ANNIVERSARY OF THE LOSS OF OUR AIRCRAFT,
AIRFIELD NO. 2, PONAPE, CAROLINE ISLANDS
The 6th of February marks the sixtieth anniversary of
the loss of our PBJ during the strike on the Japanese airfield
at Palikir on Ponape. Our comrades killed during the
mission were: First Lieutenant William J. Love; First Lieutenant
Thomas W. Stone; Staff Sergeant John R. Schwaller; Sergeant
Leland E. Baumbach; Sergeant John A. Becker; Sergeant David
Snider; and Private William M. Farley.
Just before Christmas 2004, we received correspondence regarding
the loss of our aircraft and its crew from Steve A. Druzak, the
Deputy Chief of the Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia,
Ponape. Steve, who has been stationed on Ponape for some
time, was very surprised to learn about the loss or our
aircraft, which he discovered from our website.
Steve decided that in honor of that sacrifice made by our
Marines, he would arrange for a small wreath laying ceremony at
the crash site, with a number of embassy employees in
attendance. He contacted us to advise us of his intent,
and to inquire as to the exact time that the aircraft was lost.
We informed Steve that on that day, our aircraft departed
Eniwetok at 9:00 AM, and arrived over the target at 11:10AM.
Lieutenant Love, his crew, and Private Farley were killed at
11:15 AM according to footnotes contained on the squadron’s 1945
Following Christmas, Steve and the Security Chief for the
embassy visited the crash-site to determine exactly where the
wreath should be placed. They easily located an engine,
the main landing gear, and a number of smaller pieces of the
aircraft, however they were unable to locate the aircrafts
remaining tail section. Due to the easy access to the site
of the engine, Steve decided that this would be the most
appropriate location to place the wreath.
On February 6, 2005 at 11:15 AM (Ponape Time*), a wreath laying
ceremony will take place on Ponape. Steve has asked
Suzanne K. Hale, U.S. Ambassador to the Federated States of
Micronesia, to personally attend to render the honors to our
Marines. If the Ambassador is unavailable, Steve will
place the wreath as her direct representative. Hopefully,
we will be able to provide a photograph of the ceremony in next
As for the future, Steve is hoping that once the new U.S.
Embassy building is constructed in Kolonia, there will be a
small amount of funds remaining to construct a permanent marker
at the crash-site listing the names of our Marines.
*This date and time corresponds with the following time zones in
the continental United States:
February 5, 2005 7:15PM EST; February 5, 2005 6:15 PM CST;
February 5, 2005 5:15 PM MST; and February 5, 2005 4:15 PM PST.
VMB-613 ARTICLE TO BE PUBLISHED IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS
Recently we received correspondence from Aenet Rowa on
Majuro. Aenet is the webmaster of yokwe.net*, an
informational website dedicated to and serving the people of
the Marshall Islands.
Aenet indicated in his correspondence that he found our
VMB-613 web page and after reviewing the history of our
squadron, has decided to do a front page article on Marine
Bombbing Squadron Six-Thirteen for yokwe.net. Aenet
noted that the activities of our squadron from Kwajalein in
1945 are an integral part of Marshallese history, and that
his readers would be interested in hearing about us.
Aenet concluded by adding that he was pleased with the fact
that so many of our squadron members have, throughout the
years returned to the visit the Marshall Islands.
Information regarding the actual article will be sent in a
future Newsletter, once Aenet has published his article.
*Yokwe is a traditional Marshallese greeting, similar to the
Hawaiian greeting, Aloha.
Our website administrator, Robert Yanacek has submitted a
request for some additional photographs. Robert
reported that, sadly, there is not one photograph of
Sergeant Dave Snider or Private William Farley that he has
been able to locate for inclusion on our website. “I
feel that displaying photographs of these two men is
particularly important, in light of the fact that they made
the supreme sacrifice” Robert said. A group photograph
of Love, Stone, Schwaller, Baumbach, and Becker was added a
number of months ago.
Any members who could assist him by providing photographs of
Snider or Farley or of our aircraft are asked to forward
them directly to Robert. He will promptly copy them
and return them to you, undamaged. Photographs should
be sent to the following address:
Robert J. Yanacek
104 Radio Road
Powells Point, NC 27966
Heard from Cliff Dotson who wishes everyone a healthy
and happy new year. He reported that they were going to
spend New Year’s Eve and Day with friends at the lake
home of a friend which is about fifty miles from
Birmingham. He said that there would be a lot of
football on tap and that we should all pull for Auburn.
Their new house is moving along nicely, still on
schedule for late February or early March.
His son, Mark, gave him a beautiful book for Christmas
entitled “The Marines” which was published by Barnes and
Noble under the auspices of the Marine Corps Heritage
Foundation. Cliff found that this was a
masterpiece and truly interesting. He recommends
it to all and is sure that no one will be bored in
Stan and Peach Richardson send their New Years best to
all members. Wishing all a Happy New Year 2005.
Herk Varellas sends his regards to all, along with
wishes for a Happy New Year.
Jim Milhousen says hello and regards to all. His weather
report for Schaumburg, IL early one morning was 11 deg
outside, with a wind chill of -5 deg. This
convinced him that winter has finally arrived. To
date they had only received two small snow storms with
5.5 inches of snow.
Excitement has been escaping his neighborhood so he
seeks refuge by bowling two days a week. Gives him
Homer Anderson reports that he and Janett are fine and
they wish everyone a good Christmas and New Year.
Homer had a heart attack in early summer and is now in
cardiac rehab and doing fine. Just doesn’t get
around much anymore.
Ed Alling sends his best to all. Things are going
along great in Maryland but the storms keep coming and
going which makes it difficult at times to determine
what could be done without having to go outside and
shovel snow first.
John and Carol Butler send their Holiday Greetings to
all VMB 613'ers. Both of them are fine and were
staying home this year to spend Christmas with the
Mike and Helen Pasachnik say Happy Holidays to all.
All is quiet in their locale but they have been
receiving a lot of cold weather with some snow.
Based on experience they feel that more snow is still on
They recently celebrated their 51st wedding
Anniversary with the help of their daughters memories.
Bill Barber sends his best regards to all. He has
been spending most of his time at home as opposed to
bike riding, weather isn’t too good right now for
Jack Schwertfager sends New Years Greetings to all.
He said that his golf country is still performing to
spec at this time of year which has allowed him to go
out and play golf as opposed to others who might have to
out and shovel snow.
Ned Carmichael sends greetings to all from the Land of
Down Under. He is still active in church
activities but is preparing to transfer the
responsibility of his current church to other church
Doc and Jane Protheroe have gone to Florida to check on
the reconstruction of the their Condo.
Reports have been received which indicate that some
major progress has been made in the reconstruction.
They are anticipating staying there for a short extended
period. They send New Years greetings to all.
Cliff Willis says New Years Greetings to all. He
has been very busy reorganizing his agricultural mineral
activities. His recuperation from a serious truck
accident gets interrupted occasionally when he forgets
about that and endeavors to do some physical work which
immediately shuts his system down for rest. His
recuperating hip injury gives him the biggest problem.
His area of the state has been very cold with a lot of
rain, ice and snow which slows down the wheels of
progress at times.
Happy New Year to all VMB 613 family from Warren Ritter.
All continues well with him in North Carolina and he
hopes that the weather will perform well for the rest of
Tom Honan sends his regards to all. The weather
isn’t giving them any problems at this time.
Heard from Al “Zack” Zachwieja who sends New Years
greetings to all. He said that every time he reads
the monthly newsletter it makes him recollect the
happenings in ‘44 and ‘45.
He remembers Carmine Nasta diving off the ship, Marty
Martikainen and himself fishing in the lagoon and
catching a yellow tail and bonita. One day while
out fishing again something big hit Marty’s line and
snapped the bamboo pole.
Lew Amber gives his best wishes to all for a Happy New
Year hopefully hurricane and other disasters free.
He continues to stay in good health but has to battle
with arthritis. This has caused his golf game to
suffer but he is still able to play, at lest for now.
His Florida hurricane report indicated that his area
suffered from three hurricanes last fall. Two of them
France and Jeanne came ashore two miles from his home
and caused devastating damage to the area but more to
the north of him. He was fortunate to have only
minor damage when neighbors on either side suffered
His children, and grandchildren have been able to drop
by for visits which is an enjoyable event.
Bob Litzau sends greetings from cold country. It has
been really winter in his part of the country with the
temperatures around -5 deg with a -8 (-) -16 wind chill
factor. They stayed inside where it was warm.
The had a great time with children, grandchildren and
great grand children over to start off the Xmas season.
Bob was able to have his library borrow Leatherneck
Bombers for him. He enjoyed reading it and
doing his own analysis of some of the flight activities
of the various squadrons.
He sent along a picture of a helicopter which has been
nominated by Geo as “THE photo of the year”. If
space allows it will appear in this newsletter or the
next one for sure. This photo is of a
British Helicopter rescuing a downed crew member from
the ocean with a large shark endeavoring to catch him
before he could be pulled up.
John Martincevic son of the late Matthew Martincevic
(VMB 613 Cook) sent a photograph of his Dad with several
fellow Marines. This photo was from the 1944-1945
era. It has been put on the website for viewing by
Robert Baxter son of Herbert Baxter (Communications)
reported that he was thrilled to find our website and he
found his father’s picture. His father is 79 years
of age, alive and well.
Robert continued to say that being able to review the
website made his father feel much younger again and gave
him a new holiday attitude. Robert’s request for
additional info on VMB 613 that he could show to his Dad
was accomplished by sending him a copy of the
Communications Department picture and requesting that he
endeavor to identify the members shown.
Herb was able to remember many names which was
outstanding since he hadn’t seen any of his former
buddies from over sixty years ago since returning to the
JD Garls sends his well wishes to all. He had a
very good Christmas and New Years and he is currently in
the process of reviewing the Associations financial
records for 2004.
Hopefully his favorite football team the Green Bay
Packers will be able to continue their wining ways and
go on to the Super Bowl.
Mike Jacus says hello and regards to all. He was
surprised by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve with a copy of
Doc Scott’s film of the squadron on Kwajalein. On
Christmas Day he took the tape with him to view it
following Christmas dinner with his family.
He reported that following dinner, he sat down alone to
watch the movie. The next thing he knew, his
entire family was watching it with him! Mike said
that it was really great to see the PBJ’s flying again,
and that he remembered constructing a wind powered
washing machine of his own similar to the ones shown in
Chuck Cannato says that he hopes all the boys and their
family had a great Christmas and he hopes all have a
great healthy and happy “05. He also said best
regards to all.
He mentioned that they had made the trip back home, this
time to Connecticut which is close to his old
neighborhood. They completed the move just before
Christmas. It was a tougher job than he had
anticipated and they are now settled in their new condo.
Thanks to his children who live nearby the job went
well. Their great help was really needed.
Prior to leaving Cape Cod he happened to look through
the Roster of the USMC Detachment that he belongs to and
saw 613 listed with the name Dick Newton. Dick was
Homer Anderson’s pilot he remembered. He called
Dick and they had a great conversation for over thirty
Brooke Ligon daughter of Bob Ligon reported that she has
completed a major portion of here website dedicated to the
memory of her father, and that any members with access to
the Internet are welcome to visit this website at:
AUTHOR IN SEARCH OF INFORMATION ON VMB-613 AIRCRAFT
We received correspondence from Eric Sperger, a former
Marine Sergeant who is working on a book which documents
World War II aircraft accidents and crashes. Eric
learned from our website of the crash landing of one of our
PBJ-1Hs in June of 1944 and the loss of two SBD’s as a
result of engine failure. Eric would like to copy any
photographs or to receive information on these accidents,
concerning location, dates, pilot, crew and circumstances.
Eric has found reference to a VMB 613 PBJ1C that was
severely damaged in a forced landing at Cherry Point on
September 28, 1943 and another PBJ1C that was damaged on
April 4, 1944 when it skidded on an ice covered runway in
Any information on these accidents would also be
appreciated. Members with photographs or details
regarding these incidents are asked to e-mail him at
or to contact Robert Yanacek so he can pass the information
along to him.