Introduction Training Florida Home Front Floridian Service Impact on Florida
Florida on the Eve of War
Pearl Harbor and its Impact
Military Training in Florida
Aviation
Land Warfare
Amphibious
WAAC Training at Daytona Beach
The German Submarine Threat
Civil Defense & Patrols
Rationing & Government Effort
Scrap, Gardens & Kids' Activities
War Bonds & Women's Roles
Homegrown Armor: The Alligator
National Guard & State Guard
United States Army
Navy & Marines
Coast Guard
Army Air Force
Women on Duty
African Americans
War Heroes
War's Impact on Florida
Citrus Goes to War
Industry and War Products
Tourism During the War Years
The War Ends
How WWII Changed the State

Homegrown Armor: The Alligator
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While living in Florida, Donald Roebling, son of a wealthy New York industrialist, designed a revolutionary amphibious vehicle that helped to win the war in the Pacific. Named the "Alligator" by Roebling, the Navy later christened it the Landing Vehicle Tracked, or LVT. A later version was nicknamed the "Water Buffalo."

In the early 1930s, at the urging of his father, Roebling began work on an amphibious tracked vehicle that could be used to rescue survivors of floods and hurricanes. He spent eight years perfecting his design, with initial development taking place at Dunedin. Life magazine ran an article on the Alligator in 1937, which drew the attention of the U.S. government. Three years later, Marine Corps officials obtained funds to purchase a prototype for further testing. Shortly thereafter, Roebling signed a contract to build 200 additional vehicles. The military received the first production models shortly before Pearl Harbor. Eventually, more than 15,000 were produced, with most used to land Marines on hostile shores in the Pacific.

Florida Remembers WWII
Marine and an LVT (Landing Vehicle, Tracked) on a Pacific island. Roebling's invention proved very successful in the amphibious island-hopping campaign in the Pacific. -- (Dunedin Historical Society)
 Marine and an LVT (Landing Vehicle, Tracked) on a Pacific island. Roebling's invention proved very successful in the amphibious island-hopping campaign in the Pacific.
(Dunedin Historical Society)
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