Memo To: All The Baseball Fans
Here is some new information to be added to the VMB 613
Story. Recently a gentleman by the name of Larry Clare
found our website while doing some research on the Internet
and was very surprised to find all of the material on VMB
613. He indicated that our web site is one of the best
he had ever seen.
Of particular interest is that Larry married Susan Stone in
1966. Susan is the only child of 1st Lt
Thomas W. Stone who was KIA on February 6, 1945 in the raid
on the Japanese airfield on Pohnpei. Larry went onto
say that his wife was born in December 1944 and never had
the chance to know her father, but would like to pass as
much information about him as possible to their children.
Susan was a little overwhelmed by the new information about
her father and was surprised to learn of the memorial
service that was held on Pohnpei earlier this year for her
father and the other members of the crew. Susan’s
mother, Kay, and the rest of the Stone family had a
difficult time dealing with Lieutenant Stone’s
death, and little information was ever discussed regarding
his service in the Marine Corps.
About fifteen years ago Susan’s
mother gave her the medals that her father was entitled to
(including the Purple Heart), and the wooden barracks chest
in which were shipped home her father’s
Also included was the photograph attached in this
mother had no information about the picture, as it is
undated and uncaptioned. It is in a tropical setting,
palm trees in the background, native-looking troops bearing
arms, and a number of unidentified individuals - some of
which are believed to by VMB 613 members.
Vern Beggs reviewed the photograph and quickly identified
Lieutenant Stone as in the front row on the right.
Larry confirmed Vern’s
identification; however, the identity of the other
individuals remain unknown. It would be appreciated if
the members would review it and send along any information
as to where the picture was taken and if there are any more
613'ers in it, the date of the picture, reason for the
Larry, Susan, and the other members of the Stone family have
been very appreciative of the information they have learned
about Lieutenant Stone from us and eagerly look forward to
hearing from VMB 613 members, especially those who knew
Lieutenant Stone. Susan can be contacted through her
e-mail address which can be found in the membership e-mail
directory on our website. Those members without e-mail
access can contact me to pass on any information.
We also had the pleasure of hearing from another member of
the VMB 613 family. Chris Pelletiere the grandson of
Ross Bennett came across our web site and stated that we
have an extraordinary website.
He sent along a picture of his grandfather’s
aircrew, a picture of a transport landing on some island,
could have been Kwaj, and a picture of his grandfather
wielding a paint brush on a building presumed to be the VMB
Club at Kwajalein.
Tom and Connie Lahart send their regards to all members.
They reported that everything here in PA is good and they
are doing well and enjoying life.
Both are in pretty good health and for the most part pain
free which allows them to do pretty much what they want.
They have limited their long distance trips but do take in
the local country side with an occasional over nighter.
Doc Protheroe sends his regards to all. They have been
busy finishing up required repairs to their home at Hilton
Head. Different things pop up over time that have to
be repaired. He sent along the following web site
address which shows a satellite view of the placement of the
World War II Memorial and a good chunk of Washington, D.C.
He said that it was a spectacular site from space:
Doc also said that he has spent a lot of time visiting the
many memories on the VMB 613 Web Site. It is
absolutely outstanding and Bob Yanacek rates a great
compliment for his exceptional effort in the development and
maintenance of the site.
Jim and Buzz Packard say hello to all. They are going
on a trip to Northern California and Oregon and will be in
touch with us upon their return.
Bob Polakowski sends a big hello from Wisconsin to all our
613 buddies and ladies. A neighbor of Bob’s
who recently passed away was a Marine but he never told Bob
that. The neighbors son gave Bob an original copy of
which was the MCAS Santa Barbara Base Newspaper. It is
copy was published January 11, 1943 and was not the first
issue of the base newspaper but pretty close to it. It
is a two page, back to back, printed document containing
interested news about the base and some of the Marines
stationed there. I have made a copy of it for future
reproduction purposes and sent the original copy back to Bob
for his personal Marine Corps files.
Bob also sent along the EAA book/magazine re: the Oshkosh
air show plus a Florida Vets Book. Both are
interesting reading. Bob wanted to attend the Oshkosh
air show this year but had to be out of town attending a
scheduled family event. He knew that a B-25 would also
be among the aircraft on display and in flight and was
hoping that he would be able to meet with the crew members
of the plane and get a fast briefing on any modifications
that they might have had to make to assure the planes flight
Just thinking about the Oshkosh air show and the various
WWII aircraft brought back high school memories to Bob.
Some of his class mates were aircraft gunners on B-17's and
B-24's and related many a tale of flying over sections of
Europe and Africa and having to make emergency landings on
the water as well as the coast due to enemy fire damaging
their aircraft. He said he would have really enjoyed
looking at those aircraft.
Jim and Mary Jane Lewis say hello and regards to all.
Their area of the country has started to get into the fall
transition stage so it has cooled down a little. They
attended a granddaughters wedding in the Twin Cities area,
Harriet Island in St Paul which was a great affair with an
Irish ceremony. The wedding reception was also an
outstanding event. Instead of a wedding cake they had
four different kinds of pies. These were what the
bride wanted and they were delicious said Mary Jane.
RL and Alice Marx send their best to all. They
reported that they are both hangin’
in there pretty good in spite of old age syndromes. RL
has remained active by driving his John Deere tractor and
moving rail road ties and the like. In addition to
that activity they have been attending weddings, and visits
to and from the family. These are events that they don’t
like to miss. They will be visiting with daughter Amy
and family in Vermont later in the fall season.
George Comer says hello to all. He mentioned an
article in the Leatherneck Magazine issue of September 2005
which covered some early occupation of activity in Japan in
1945 after hostilities ceased, by U.S. Armed Forces, and
preparations for the surrender were in process. On one
of pages within the article they show the twin tails of a
U.S. B-25 Mitchell medium bomber along with some Japanese
bombers. George is of the opinion that the B-25
Mitchell medium bomber is a U.S. Marine Corps PBJ and
possibly one of VMB 612's. George spent several months
in that area and described the many various buildings set up
in and around the aircraft hangars where-in Japanese
aircraft squadron personnel could perform specialized jobs.
He was impressed with the facilities, which consisted of
airplane repair shops, storage facilities and barracks.
In some areas there were even underground complexes to
maintain their aircraft. He also had an opportunity to
see the BOQ occupied by the Kamikaze Pilots.
The Marine Bombing Squadron VMB 613 Association has donated
$100.00 to the American Red Cross Katrina Disaster Fund.
James D. Garls handled the transaction and completed all
documentation in the name of Marine Bombing Squadron VMB 613
Another hurricane (Ohpelia) was brewing on the southern U.S.
coast and Robert Yanacek who lives on the shore of North
Carolina (Kill Devil Hills) reported that they had received
instructions to evacuate. They decided to stay and ride out
the storm and remained, lucky although the wind velocity was
about 35 mph. They had some sustained winds and a
little bit of rain and mist. No power outages.
One surprise though was that he got a day off from work with
pay due to the impending hurricane threat.