LVT4 Landing Vehicle

Most landing craft are designed to deliver troops onto open beaches. But many Pacific islands held by the Japanese during the war were surrounded by jagged coral reefs. These reefs could rip up wooden-bottomed boats. A new design was needed. 

In 1935, civlian engineer Donald Roebling designed a tracked vehicle to rescue people in flooded areas after hurricanes. He called it the Alligator. When World War II broke out, Roebling adapted his design for the Navy and Marine Corps. This LVT4 (Landing Vehicle Tracked) uses its cup-like metal tracks to "swim" through the water and "crawl" over obstacles, such as coral reefs. Its armored contstruction protected the men inside, and its rear ramp made exiting quick when facing incoming Japanese fire. For his innovative contribution to winning the war in the Pacific, Roebling was awarded a Certificate of Achievement from the Navy and a Medal of Merit from President Harry Truman. 

The Food Machinery Corporation made 18,000 LVTs in their Florida, Missouri, and California factories. This one was made in St. Louis. It weighs 16.5 tons and can travel up to 25 mph on land and 7 mph in water.