13th Bomb Squadron- The Devil's Own Grim Reapers
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Regrettably, the September 30th-October 3rd 2020 13th Bomb Squadron Association Reunion in San Antonio has be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The board will be discussing plans for our next reunion in 2021 and that information will be shown here as soon as it is confirmed.

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 gathering of the 13th Association, in 2019 took place at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Boise, the capital of the state of Idaho. Previously we visited Savannah, GA in 2018, and at the Mighty 8th Air Force Museum. 2017 was the unforgettable 100th Birthday/Reunion of the 13th Bomb Squadron hosted by B/Gen Paul W. Tibbets IV, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing, and Lt Col Matthew R. Newell, squadron commander, in 2016 San Diego (visit the USS aircraft carrier Midway, take the San Diego/Old Town trolley tour and a harbor dinner cruise), in 2015 Branson, MO (entertaining shows and dynamic speakers), 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).

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

An excellent reunion was held in a western city less traveled - beautiful Boise in the southwest corner of Idaho, near the eastern border with Oregon. We were welcomed by a warm and friendly staff at the Hampton Inn and Suites in downtown, located within walking distance of the center of the city. Touring the gorgeous state capital building was one of our favorite visits, as well as seeing many aircraft in the Warhawk Museum, visiting the Basque Area of Boise and having the opportunity to enjoy meals at the hotel or at many restaurants nearby. Eleven active duty members of the 13th Bomb Squadron were in attendance. Our Banquet Night at the Hampton Inn was a very special event with fine dinner options and guest speakers that included the new 13th commander, Lt Col Michal (Ox) Polidor, the previous CO, Lt Col Geoffrey (Fletch) Steeves and extraordinary guest speaker, Steve Swanson, former NASA Astronaut and distinguished guest educator in residence at Boise State University who filled us in on many of the requirements and then the accomplishments of the brave and highly trained men and women who are completing incredible voyages into space. This was truly a special evening.

At 1313 hours on May 31, 2019, Lt Col Geoffrey M. (Fletch) Steeves passed the honor of commanding the 13th Bomb Squadron to incoming commander Lt Col Michal P. Polidor, who for the last ten months had been the inspector general for the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, MO. Lt Col Polidor has an outstanding flying record after having been an instructor pilot and chief of scheduling in an F-15E squadron for four years. One year later he became a B-2 pilot for four more years, flying the Stealth bomber and then earning the instructor pilot rating. For his full bio, please click here.

Lt Col Fletch Steeves has been assigned as the Senior Air Force Fellow to the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM where he will learn how the Department of Energy interfaces with the Department of Defense, studying the challenges facing the nuclear enterprise and providing his military expertise to their questions. 

Former 13th CO Colonel Jeffrey T. (Opie) Schreiner (2012-2014) recently replaced B/Gen John Nichols as the new CO of the 509th Bomb Wing. B/Gen Nichols has been assigned to Offutt AFB, NE as the Deputy Director of Global Operations, US Strategic Command. Col Schreiner's last two assignments were June 2017-July 2018 as the Vice CO 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Udeid Air Base, Qatar, and then July 2018- May 2019 as Battle Watch Commander, at the US Strategic Command.

At 1313 hours on April 13, 2018, Colonel Brian Gallo, commander of the 509th Operations Group, Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri announced the consolidation of its two B-2 squadrons, the 13th and 393rd Bomb Squadrons into one combined squadron, the 393rd BS. The 13th retained its title of Bomb Squadron and assumed the mission of B-2 Combat Training which the now inactivated  394th Combat Training Squadron had performed at Whiteman for the past 22 years.

Looking ahead, the 13th BS, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in June 2017 may become one of the new B-21 bomb squadrons now being developed for the United States Air Force.


{A Salute to the Grim Reapers of the 13th Bomb Squadron}

Was a century ago in the skies over France,
Oscar was born!
War One was the scene - the SPAD was the machine
Biddle, Stovall, and Spaatz, Young Guns all
Showed little fear in those early days
Fought to win a peace they hoped would stay.

But forty years later on a cool Sunday morn
In a sneak attack the bombs began to fall
And in a matter of minutes another war was born
At a serene place called Pearl Harbor
So America’s Young guns answered the call
They were lawyer, farmer, butcher and barber.

They left home and family to do their share
As they had done years ago in a place called France
To fight for freedom and show the world we care
They served the world over and took great chance,
This generation of America’s young Guns

From Savannah to Australia and on to Japan,
There was great bitterness toward that land.
Strafing, bombing, kickin butt and being bold
Many brave young Reapers gave their all
To win a peace they all prayed would hold

Four years later the fighting would cease
And the warriors could finally go home
To their families and their loved ones
And pass the mantle of their deeds
To the next generation of Young Guns

But time again would tell the world
As long as man lives and is still in the game
That peace is fragile and seldom ever won
So four years later and Korea is aflame
And Oscar leads the charge of our Young Guns

Then after Korea they’re off to Nam
A few years later we’re faced with Saddam
And after all this we know we’re not done
So there will always be a need for
Our Brave Young Guns
The putterin’ poet, Joseph Stroud, 0418 {Reaper, 1946-1950}

Rhode Island Reunion Pictures


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