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LVTs: Wooden Plugs, Pumps, Re-fueling

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Visited 2-11-11

LVT(2) Bilge Pump

Wooden dowel plugs  used to plug bullet holes.

Wooden dowels used to plug bullet holes in LVTs on display at the WWII Korean LVT Museum.

It is interesting to note that the bilge pump on the LVT(2) was driven by the engine, and ceased to work if the LVT ran out of gas. The bilge pumps were critical to evacuate incoming water due to waves coming over the sides of the craft; holes created in the LVTs by gunfire; or as the amtracs scrapped over the coral reefs near the islands.

Dowel Plugs for LVTs

A later common practice during WWII, was to drive wooden dowel plugs into the bullet holes when the bilge pumps could not handle all the water.1

LVT Re-fueling Problems During Battle

Another problem encountered by the LVTs was the refusal of some LST crews to re-fuel amtracs other than their own, due to lack of proper instructions and inexperience.2 Traveling by water, the LVTs quickly used up gasoline. After delivering troops to shore, they returned to the LSTs to re-fuel and load cargo for another trip. In the confusion of battle it proved difficult for an LVT to locate its assigned LST, and so many LVTs were  refused fuel needed to transport supplies to shore in battles such as Iwo Jima.

1Major Alfred Dunlop Bailey, USMC (Retired). Alligators, Buffaloes, and Bushmasters, The History of the Development of the LVT Through World War II. Washington, D.C.: History and Museums; U.S. Marine Corps, 1986, p93.

2Jeter Allen Isely; Philip A Crowl. The U.S. Marines and Amphibious War; its Theory, and its Practice in the Pacific. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951, p 273.

Photo was taken by WW2HQ staff, with permission of the World War II Korea LVT Museum at Camp Del Mar Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton, California.