Army & Navy - Reef Climbers

The lessons of Tarawa were written into bills authorizing more landing craft, which were rushed through Congress last week. The Navy's landing-craft program now totals 80,000, from the huge (450 ft.) dock ships to rubber rafts. Marines were especially glad to see that there were some "Alligators" on the program.

These armed LVTs (Landing Vehicles, Tracked) proved themselves in the reef-guarded Gilberts. Other landing craft were halted by the coral rings around the islands. The Alligators (originally developed by Donald Roebling for hurricane rescue work in Florida swamps) kept going, climbed over the barriers, crawled up on the beaches, ranged inland....

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