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USMC Amphibian Tractor Detachment

Dunedin, Florida
Pinellas County

This site is located in the WestCentral region of the state.

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Originally formed at Quantico, Virginia, this Marine detachment moved to Dunedin on May 2, 1941 to establish a training center for drivers and mechanics of the new LVT amphibious vehicles. Developed locally under the direction of inventor Donald Roebling, manufacture of these vehicles took place in Food Machinery Corporation plants in Lakeland, Florida and Riverside, California. To assure reliability, every tenth vehicle manufactured at the Lakeland plant received performance testing at the Dunedin site.

Originally quartered in the Hotel Dunedin, the contingent occupied their newly constructed barracks and storage facilities near the intersection of Curlow Creek and Alternate 19 in September 1942. Upon completion of training, these men became members of newly formed units of the Marine Corps 1st Tractor Battalion. Located at the NW corner of Main and Broadway, the Dunedin Servicemen’s Lounge provided food and entertainment to these Leathernecks.

Closed in August 1944, all that remains of this site is a historic marker on Alternate US 19 in Dunedin.

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