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

PERSONAL MEMORIES

Central Pacific

When it was discovered that the Japanese were close to making airfield number 2 on Ponape operational, an attack was scheduled for February 6th.  My crew was scheduled to fly that mission in the “Love Bug.”  Our crew consisted of Bob Love, Tom Houston, Joseph Danz, Alvin Klinke, Joseph Brais, Harry Jordan, and me.  In the early evening on the day before the raid, an object, believed to be a Japanese submarine, was spotted.  As our crew was on standby, we were instructed to investigate.  We flew from Eniwetok to the reported location of the sighting.  We patrolled the area for quite a while, searching, but were unable to locate anything.  We headed back to Eniwetok and landed sometime after midnight on February 6th.  Since we had been airborne so long and had gotten back so late, it was decided to replace our crew for the mission.  Bill Love and his crew were assigned to replace us on the raid in the same aircraft, the “Love Bug.”  The six aircraft on the strike left Eniwetok for Ponape a number of hours later as we slept.  As we awoke sometime around noon, a message from one of the aircraft on the strike was received indicating that "there had been some problems.”  We had no idea exactly what this meant as detailed information could not be transmitted for security reasons.  We did realize though that it was not good news.  After the aircraft landed we learned that Bill Love and his crew had been killed.  Contributed by Lloyd L. McDaniel 

The song Sentimental Journey was very popular during the war-time years.  I recall one instance in particular hearing it while awaiting the anticipated announcement of the Japanese surrender while we were on Kwajalein. The surrender was broadcast on the radio about 2:00AM, Kwajalein time.  Al Rothenbach, who was bunked directly across the isle from me in our barracks, had a short-wave radio. On this special occasion he had  obtained permission from the Officer of the Day to extend lights out so that we could listen to the surrender announcement.  Prior to the actual announcement the station was broadcasting music. The guys in our barracks were sitting on the floor around Rothenbach's and my cot listening to the music while waiting for the announcement.  I drifted off into sleep but awoke up shortly before the announcement with that continuous Kwajalein breeze blowing across my body through improvised openings in the barracks walls below where there would normally be windows. When I awoke, the song being broadcast was Sentimental Journey.  Everyone gathered around Rothenbach's cot was sitting there quietly--not a word was to be heard.  It was a serene moment that I have had fond memories of throughout my life.

Contributed by Clifford L. Dotson

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