13th Bomb Squadron- The Devil's Own Grim Reapers
World War IWorld War IIKorean WarVietnam WarGlobal War on Terror
History of Missions
Who We AreTaps
News & EventsInfo on Upcoming ReunionTo Receive Our Newsletter
Heading Events


Seeing old friends, some for the first time in 30-50 years can be an emotional and really gratifying experience. We have this at school reunions, but when the previous relationships were under hard working conditions including preparation for combat or combat itself, the reconnections become incredibly meaningful. This is what happens at 13th Bomb Squadron Reunions. One pilot reunites for the first time in 35 years with the navigator he flew 65 combat missions with in Vietnam and that reunion becomes electric. Similar happy events like this occur every year at the annual Association reunions which rotate to different parts of the country where members and their wives, family members and friends enjoy tours and happenings in each location and especially the camaraderie.

The last 14 gatherings of 13th Eagles took place in 2014 in Providence, RI ( Newport Tour, The Old North Church and Quincy Market), in Reno (National Car Museum and Bucket of Blood Saloon); before that it was New Orleans (World War II Museum), Washington, DC (Air Force Memorial Service), Tucson, (Pima Air Museum), Colorado Springs, (Air Force Academy), Hampton, VA. (F-22), Kansas City, (B-2), Dayton, (Air Force Museum), San Antonio, (River Walk), St Louis, (The Cards and The Bud Suds), Seattle, (Boeing Museum), Nashville, (Grand Ole Opry), and Abilene, TX. (B-1B).

Prior commitments prevented the 13th CO Lt Col Robert Makros  and some of his Reapers from attending the 2014 reunion. But our senior member, Ed Connor took the podium and gave us a first hand account of his World War II experience as an 18 year old gunner/radio operator in a B-25 at the beginning of the war in the Southwest Pacific. On one of the many missions he flew in New Guinea, his aircraft had been damaged and they were heading home over the mountains. To give them a chance to clear the range ahead of them, crew members threw out much of their equipment to lighten the plane - including guns from all the turrets except one. Immediately afterwards, they were attacked by three Japanese Zeros. Ed was able to man the remaining guns in the belly turret and successfully shoot down the first attacker and drive off the other two fighters, allowing the B-25 to clear the mountains and limp on home. For his heroism under fire, Ed received the  Silver Star medal and a lot of praise from his crew members. He also received a standing ovation at the end of his talk from all of the reunion attendees who were filled with emotions.

The 2015 reunion will be held at the musical city of Branson, MO 16-20 September at the Radisson Hotel ( telephone 866 460-7456) in downtown Branson. We expect a good turnout at this reunion from the Reapers at Whiteman AFB, MO. You can call now to make a reservation and check the March Invader magazine at the bottom of this section for all the details.

 If you like to plan ahead- California Here We Come next year. Please put sunny San Diego on your calendar for a good 2016 vacation/fall reunion as our scheduling progresses across the country to allow members to be closer to a reunion every three years. Many activities will await you there.

New Orleans Reunion 2012

For more information about the upcoming reunion, please contact:
James R.(Bob) Parks
3219 Tavern Oaks St
San Antonio, TX 78247


In addition to reunions the Association supports the active duty 13th Bomb Squadron, one of two B-2 squadrons in the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, MO. On June 13, 2014 at 1313 hours, the command of the 13th was transferred from Lt Col Jeffrey (Opie) Schreider , the CO for two years, to Lt Col Robert (Stab) Makros. Association members were invited to attend and those that did were honored to be part of the traditional change of command ceremony. The new CO has been the Director of Operations of the 72nd Test and Evaluation Squadron at Whiteman AFB. He has flown two major weapons systems, the B-2 and the F-15E and has over 150 F-15E combat hours in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Southern Watch.

Prior to his current assignment Lt Col Makros was Chief, Aircraft Strike Branch at the Joint Functional Component Command for Global Strike, USTRATCOM at Offutt AFB NE.

During his two year command of the 13th BS, Lt Col Schreiner became the first CO to have multiple location deployments in the Pacific during joint and combined operations. Additionally the squadron earned multiple superior performance and outstanding safety awards under his command. He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for his accomplishments and has been assigned as the Department of Defense representative on a nuclear study panel in Washington, DC.

Squadron members pay a floral tribute to fallen comrades at several locations each Memorial Day. The Memorial Park next to the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson AFB, OH has three plaques that honor members of the 13th Bomb Squadron from World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The Vietnam Plaque which was dedicated in October 2007 was presented to the Museum Director by a former squadron commander, Colonel Billy Mcleod. Colonel McLeod, who also flew combat missions in World War II, lead the 13th Squadron to Clark AB in the Philippines in 1964 and then to bases in South Vietnam at the beginning of the Vietnam War.


In 1942, John Jewell met 13th Bomb Squadron Airmen in his home in Townsville, Australia, a community near the Charters Towers Airfield. John was the young son of an Australian family that befriended American airmen training and flying combat missions from Australia against the Japanese invasion of the Southwest Pacific. John remembers these men and their valor in helping to prevent an invasion of his country and has honored their service with several pieces of RAAF memorabilia that would serve as a military souvenir of the 13th participation in WW II. Mounted in a shadowbox, these items were presented to the 13th commander on May 10, 2013.

Earlier on this day, the squadron honored deceased Reaper, Bill (ORB) Cowen. a WW II and Korean War veteran who campaigned tirelessly to resurrect the 13th from retirement to active duty with a B-1 squadron at Dyess AFB, TX. ORB's name was placed along side the squadron commander's on the squadron B-2 flagship in his memory.

ReapersPast, Present Celebrate Heritage
By Morgan Hildebrand
13th Bomb Squadron

5/17/2013 WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- For nearly 100 years, the 13th Bomb Squadron has flown in combat: World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Global War on Terror.

On May 10, our unit hosted three former "Reapers" during the annual heritage day for the presentation of a shadow box to the unit.

The day was packed with storytelling, the sort of stories you never expect to hear face to face. The words were not to inform, but to remember, and each story had a special meaning as it was told. The pride in each man as he told his stories along with his desire to see what had become of the 13th BS since his own service was overwhelming.

The three distinguished guests from the 13th Bomb Squadron Association each served well over their 20 year marks and individually made their own impacts on Reaper history. Retired Col. Robert L. Butterfield, president of the association; retired Chief Master Sgt. Robert Parks, locator and data manager; and retired Col. Charles J. Brown, each had their own stories to tell.

The squadron, now proudly residing at Whiteman Air Force Base, originated June 14, 1917, in Texas. The shadowbox the men presented held a Royal Australian Air Force flight cap, emblem and patches, symbols of remembrance for the time the 13th BS flew with the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II.

To show appreciation to our guests, two of our own outstanding pilots, Capt. Charles Goetz and Capt. Marcus Antonini, led a very personal base tour which included time in the B-2 Spirit simulator as well as a look in the flight deck of the squadron's flagship jet, the Spirit of Mississippi.

A touching moment, and one that likely stands out for all Reapers, was the unveiling of the name added on the front landing gear door of the Spirit of Mississippi.

Here, retired Tech. Sgt. Bill "ORB" Cowan's name was added alongside our commander's, Lt. Col. Jeffery Schreiner, in honor of his contributions to the 13th. Cowan was instrumental in ensuring the 13th BS returned to active status in 2000.

The day closed with Brig. Gen. Thomas Bussiere joining the entire unit at the squadron heritage room for a formal presentation of the shadow box and a few more stories from Butterfield.

An important day for all Reapers, I was honored to participate and be part of all the events. The standout moment for me was when I arrived that morning to greet our visitors and one of the first questions asked of me was, "Did you ever think you would be standing here as a part of history?"

It was the aforementioned retired Colonel Brown asking, and I was in awe from that moment on. Then just before I left for the day, I was stopped by our guests and reminded that I may have only been with the 13th BS since December, but I will be a Reaper for the rest of my life.

"Just when the Numerical Mother gave birth to the original 'wee Thirteen' is something we can't discuss, but a modern birthday which we shall never forget is that of a cactus-born squadron on an early June day-and when the christening came no one complained that the number was Thirteen. From then on, it was just a 'hobby,' a kind of self-inflicted task of ours to disprove the somewhat ancient belief that this number was anything but a good one, and we proudly believe we succeeded!"

That is the opening to a piece of 13th Bomb Squadron Reaper history written by Lt Richards and S.M. Avery, original WW I Reapers.

Washington, DC Reunion Pictures

Home   Membership   Events   History of Missions   Who We Are   Taps   News & Events   Reunion   Receive the Invader  
World War I   World War II   Korean War   Vietnam War   Global War on Terror  

13th Bomb Squadron
(310) 892-4608

Site Designed by