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 (1939-1945) WWII
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Tarawa LVT's
4/8/2021 4:23:29 AM
The 2nd Amphibious Tractor Bat launched 125 LVT's (Landing Vehicle Tracked) but by the end of the battle only 19 were operational. Of the 500 crewmen of those 125 LVT's 325 were either killed, wounded or missing. They were all basically new machines as Tarawa was the baptism of fire for the unit. The 1st Amp Tractor Bat coming off of service from start to basically finish at Guadalcanal machines didn't fair so well. There was a plan for the reef but the plan is the first casualty of battle.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
17thfabn
Ohio OH USA
Posts: 141
Joined: 2008
Tarawa LVT's
4/8/2021 10:24:44 AM
I think it is interesting that the LVT were built by the Food Machinery Corporation. I would have expected them to be built by GM, Ford, Chrysler or perhaps Caterpillar.

Food Machinery Corporation (FMC) would go on to build the hugely successful M113 series of personnel carriers and its many variants. And the M113 was also amphibious although not sea worthy more for rivers.!
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Withdrawal in disgust is not the same as apathy.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Tarawa LVT's
4/8/2021 8:04:48 PM
17th,

Might explain why replacements for the worn and battle damaged or destroyed machines of 1st Bat were hard to get. I remember reading that they couldn't go full speed because the large majority of 1st Bat machines couldn't match the speed or maintain that speed for long. Also that they didn't put 125 in the water. I want to say they were lucky to make 90 operational.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
DT509er
Santa Rosa CA USA
Posts: 970
Joined: 2005
Tarawa LVT's
4/8/2021 10:09:36 PM
See the crossing at the 12:39 minute mark: [Read More]

You can see that the APC is going to swim with the amphib ramp in the extended outward position just as it enters the river and another at 15:00 minute mark



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"American parachutists-devils in baggy pants..." “If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” Lord Ernest Rutherford
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 583
Joined: 2004
Tarawa LVT's
4/9/2021 2:04:32 AM
Quote:
17th,

Might explain why replacements for the worn and battle damaged or destroyed machines of 1st Bat were hard to get. I remember reading that they couldn't go full speed because the large majority of 1st Bat machines couldn't match the speed or maintain that speed for long. Also that they didn't put 125 in the water. I want to say they were lucky to make 90 operational.


A better explanation is that it wasn't the 1st Amptrac Battalion, it was the 2d. They put 75 LVT(1) and 50 LVT(2) in the water. Ninety LVT were lost, eight to mechanical failures, the rest to enemy action. Of the latter, two were lost to mines, nine burned out after being hit on the reef, ten were hit and destroyed on the beach, 26 were hit and disabled on the reef, and 35 sank in deep water from battle damage when they ran out of fuel, which stopped the bilge pumps.
John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre PA USA
Posts: 1152
Joined: 2004
Tarawa LVT's
4/11/2021 3:28:23 PM
Rich,

I never said that it was the 1st. Sorry if my meaning was misunderstood because of the way I wrote my post. But the truth is members of the 1st were attached to company A of the 2nd for Tarawa.

You are also giving the loss in tracks for the first day. From my information they continued ferrying the wounded out and ammunition in after the landings and kept taking casualties for the three days of the battle with only 36 operational at the end of the first day.

But my whole point was Guadalcanal ended for both units in Feb 1943 and Tarawa was on Nov 20, 1943. They knew for months there was a shortage in numbers and that many of those considered operational were really marginally operational. Hell they had to send personel to meet the 50 LVT 2's in Samoa to ensure they were operational and to meet the rest of the units for the rehersal landing at Efite.(sp?) There were 100 more either enroute or in Hawaii that they couldn't get there in time for the landings.

42 LVT 2's and 45 LVT 1's made up the first wave and to keep a semi unified line the LVT 2's couldn't go much more than half speed.



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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country. "to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"
RichTO90
Bremerton WA USA
Posts: 583
Joined: 2004
Tarawa LVT's
4/11/2021 4:59:54 PM
Quote:
Rich,

I never said that it was the 1st. Sorry if my meaning was misunderstood because of the way I wrote my post. But the truth is members of the 1st were attached to company A of the 2nd for Tarawa.


Not as I understand it from Croizat, Alexander, Gilbert, and Cansierre. I think you may be getting confused by the Provisional Company "A-1", which was formed from personnel of Company A, 2d Amtrac Battalion, other battalion personnel, and other personnel fo the 2d MARDIV in New Zealand in October 1943. It went to Pago Pago where it mated up with Lt. Manuel Schneidmiller and 39 maintenance personnel, who accompanied the 50 LVT(2) from the States.

You may also be confusing the presence of Company A, 2d Amtrac Battalion at Guadalcanal on 7 August 1942, which was there to augment the 1st Battalion. However, only the 3d Platoon landed and it and the rest of the company were withdrawn on 9 August.

Quote:
You are also giving the loss in tracks for the first day. From my information they continued ferrying the wounded out and ammunition in after the landings and kept taking casualties for the three days of the battle with only 36 operational at the end of the first day.


No, I am not. That was the final status recorded on 5 December, when the battalion departed Betio with the rest of the division for Hawaii. Only 35 LVT were left then, 18 were left with the island garrison and the other 17 went to Hawaii with the battalion.

Quote:
But my whole point was Guadalcanal ended for both units in Feb 1943 and Tarawa was on Nov 20, 1943. They knew for months there was a shortage in numbers and that many of those considered operational were really marginally operational. Hell they had to send personel to meet the 50 LVT 2's in Samoa to ensure they were operational and to meet the rest of the units for the rehersal landing at Efite.(sp?) There were 100 more either enroute or in Hawaii that they couldn't get there in time for the landings.


As far as I know, except for the two days the 3d Platoon, 2d Battalion was ashore at Guadalcanal, no other parts of the 2d Battalion participated in operations at Guadalcanal.

Quote:
42 LVT 2's and 45 LVT 1's made up the first wave and to keep a semi unified line the LVT 2's couldn't go much more than half speed.


The 1st wave consisted of 42 LVT(1), each with 18 troops aboard. The 2d wave was 24 LVT(2), each with 20 troops aboard. The 3d wave was 21 LVT(2), also each with 20 troops. Eight empty LVT(1) followed the 1st wave and 5 empty LVT92) the 3d wave to act as reserves to assist or replace any disabled in the run in. Another 25 LVT(1) were preloaded with ammo and supplies to follow up the assault waves as needed.

The 2d wave became intermixed with the 1st wave because the LVT(2) was about a half knot faster and under the deluge of fire few drivers decided to throttle back and maintain interval. The 3d wave landed about 3 minutes after the first two.


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