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Landing Vehicle, Tracked,
LVT-3 Bushmaster

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Visited 2-11-11

LVT-3 Bushmaster at Camp Pendleton LVT Museum

LVT-3 Bushmaster Completely New Design

LVTs head for the beach at Okinawa

LVTs head for the beach at Okinawa on April 1, 1945.
U.S. Navy Photograph.

The LVT 3 Bushmaster, developed by the Borg Warner Company, was a completely new LVT design which included a rear ramp. The hull contained a driving compartment and cargo compartment. Gunners were located at the front of the cargo compartment behind the cab. The ramp was located at the rear of the vehicle and was raised or lowered with a hand operated winch.

Engine Location on LVT 3

The new design included engines on each side of the vehicle, as opposed to previous LVTs with rear or front engines. This greatly enlarged the cargo space while maintaining approximately the same exterior dimensions.1

LVT 3 track

LVT (3) track.

Narrower Tracks on Bushmaster

The LVT 3 had narrower tracks than previous LVT models and their performance proved to be as good or better than the wider tracks. These tracks were rubber bushed, and had 103 track plates.

Bushmaster Armament at Issue and in the Field

The Bushmaster was issued with two 30 caliber machine guns on the left and right forward sponsons and a 50 caliber machine gun at the center rear of the cab, however, other weapons and sometimes shields, were sometimes added to the Bushmaster in the field.2

Since the M5A1 light tank had become obsolete by this time, their engines and power trains were available and so were used in the LVT 3.

Although production began on the LVT(3) in April 1944, it was not used in battle until Okinawa in 1945 where it proved very effective. The Bushmaster was to become the standard post-war model.

LVT-3 (Landing Vehicle Tracked) Statistics3


Description Data Description
Cargo Capacity (no armor) 12,000 lbs Cruising Radius (land) 150 miles
Weight (empty) 26,600 lbs. Cruising Radius (water) 75 miles
Ground Clearance 19 inches Gasoline Load 130 gallons
Speed (land) 17 mph Engine Cadillac V-8 (two engines)
Speed (water) 6 mph Horsepower 220 HP


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, p223.
2Robert J. Icks. Landing Vehicles Tracked. Windsor, Berks: Profile Publications Limited, 1972, p17.
3Bailey, op. cit., p227.

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