All The Heroes Of The Last War We Won
The VMB 613 Reunion was held at the Crossroads Inn, Marine
Corps Base, Quantico, Virginia during the period of May 14,
15, 16, 17 and departure for home on the 18th.
All told approximately 40 VMB-613 members, guests, widows
and children of 613'ers attended. Members of VMB-613
in attendance were: Bob Polakowski; RL Marx; Foster
Cummings; Jim Packard; Cal Russell; Norb Gibbs and George
Widows and children representing their respective VMB–613
family member included Bernice Rudewick; Mary Jane Lewis;
Dorothy Evans; June Werz; Doris Siergiewicz; Brooke Ligon;
Beth Cullom; Bob Klinke; Chuck Duvall and Robert Yanacek.
While at the reunion, attendees visited the National Museum
of the Marine Corps just outside the main gate at Quantico.
This newly-opened facility is a “must see” for any Marine or
person interested in the history of our Corps. The
museum’s collection included aircraft, uniforms, weapons and
artifacts depicting the complete history of the United
States Marine Corps. One of the most significant
historical displays included the actual flag that was raised
by the Marines on Mount Suribachi in 1945–the one
immortalized in Joe Rosehthal’s famous photograph. The
only disappoint was the lack of a PBJ on display.
On the museum grounds, the VMB-613 memorial bricks were
noticed by many attendees. Foster Cummings also came
across a Memorial Brick dedicated to Wendell Vidito and one
dedicated to Donald Pelletier. These two Marines,
along with me and Foster Cummings were from Wakefield,
Massachusetts. Buzz Packard took a couple of pictures
of the VMB 613 brick that is at the Museum and will mail it
to us for all to see.
Other highlights included visits to the Marine Corps War
Memorial (Iwo Jima Monument), Arlington National Cemetery
and the Vietnam War Memorial (The Wall). On Friday
evening members attended the Sunset Parade at the Marine
Barracks compound at 8th and "I" where they watched
performances of the Marine Corps Band and the Silent Drill
On Saturday afternoon, squadron members and guests were
treated to a banquet at the residence of Stan Zack and Linda
Duvall. Linda and her brother Chuck Duvall are the
children of VMB-613 squadron member Charles R. Duvall.
They generously hosted this banquet in the memory of their
father as a way of saying "thanks" to our men for their
service to our country.
The banquet was held at their home, a 35-acre ranch located
just outside the Marine Base at Quantico. Greeting
members was a long entry lined with American flags.
The property was beautifully decorated with ample tables and
chairs overlooking a swimming pool and a large stocked pond
for those who wished to fish. Lining the area was an
enlarged series of photographs, depicting each VMB-613
member in attendance.
Prior to eating, each member of VMB-613 in attendance was
presented with an American flag by one of five active-duty
Marines in Dress Blues. Each flag had been flown over
the Iwo Jima Monument and was presented with a smart salute
and a message of thanks to each member for their honorable
service during the Second World War. This moving
ceremony brought many to tears, especially the ladies who
had lost their husbands.
Following the ceremony, attendees enjoyed a very good meal
followed by a large VMB-613 cake. With the meal
completed, members enjoyed the remainder of the day sharing
numerous wartime memories, viewing Doctor Scott’s movies of
VMB-613 on Kwajalein in 1945, and looking at hundreds of
photographs from the collections of Art Navarre and Jerry
Manning. These photographs were brought to the reunion
by our loyal webmaster and historian, Robert Yanacek.
As the event drew to a close, RL Marx posed, to the pleasure
of everyone, for a few photographs wearing a vintage
Marshall Island native grass-skirt brought to the event by
Beth Cullom. As each member departed, they were also
presented with a small flag and colored picture by the
youngest Yanacek children on behalf of Beth Cullom's
students from California.
Our most sincere thanks goes out to our gracious host and
hostess for making this reunion a most memorable and
Deborah Nasta the daughter of Carmine Nasta sent along a
message to inform us that her Dad and Mother (Edith)
have moved to an assisted living facility. Carmine
also called from the new assisted living facility to say
hello and that all was okay. Their new address is
Carmine and Edith Nasta
C/0 Sunrise Assisted Living of S.I.
801 Narrows Road #405
Staten Island, NY10304
Tel No. 718-273-9147
Lloyd McDaniel called and passed on his greetings to
all. He hoped that all Reunion Attendees had a
good time and enjoyed the occasion. He had planned
to attend the Reunion but an event came up unexpectedly
and prevented him from doing so.
Gerry and Peg Gutshall say hello and best regards to
everyone. They had been planning to make the
reunion trip but Gerry’s knee replacements would not be
able to accept the matter of his sitting around for any
length of time.
They said that they would miss the trip and seeing all
of their special friends, as well as, the side trips
that are in the plans.
Jim and Buzz Packard sent their regards to all.
They were in the Washington DC area taking a walking
tour on their own. The had planned to take in the
Smithsonian area and hoped that the good weather would
hold out for them.
They had been experiencing bad weather and one night
they had to stay in a Wal-Mart Parking lot in Winchester
because of the rainstorms severity. In the morning
the weather cleared a little so they were able to
continue their tour.
I called Jim (Red) Nelson to see how he was doing and he
reported that he has made minor progress in respect to
his heart and body trying to work together. Jim
sends his regards to all.
He can raise his arm a little now without getting a lot of
pain and is able to sit in a wheel chair almost all day
long. He still has to take pills and is now taking six
pills a day which has been of help.
He maintains a careful procedure when endeavoring to move
about in the wheel chair and even when he is able to get out
of it. It is difficult for him to do even simple
movements since his ability to control body balance isn’t
It is possible that he may be allowed to use a walker in
lieu of the wheel chair when it is determined that his
overall coordination has improved.
He has some more medical appointments to attend and it may
be necessary for him to attend some more rehab sessions at
the Medical Center.
Sandy Hudspeth is still at the Nursing Home but is getting
back to normal. He is walking with the help of a
Walker following a set rehab program. The Doctor wants
him to continue with the Rehab routines to assure that his
system is returning to normal procedure properly.
The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation sent Marine Bombing
Squadron VMB 613 a thank you for our gift to them in memory
of Isaac Richardson and further said that an acknowledgement
of our contribution would be sent to Lola Richardson..
Eric Sperger a friend of VMB 613 sent along a notice that he
had recently spoken to Raymond Perry (Nagigator-Bombardier)
who wrote the book on the history of VMB-611 “The Bombers of
MAGSZAM” which is a collectors item and impossible to find.
Raymond Perry is doing a reprint which will be out in about
60 days. The new book will have an expanded text and
many new photos and some interesting material on the
background of the PBJ’s and the Marine Corps use of them.
If any one is interested in the new book they can contact
the author Raymond Perry who lives in Vero Beach Florida,
phone number 772-567-1475 regarding buying a copy of the new
book - The cost will be $25.00 but the cost of postage