Do these two stories describe separate events,
or are they just two versions of the same single event?
THE FIRST STORY
"LVT LEAVES USS FELAND - HITS MINE ON WAY TO GREEN BEACH"
This first incident of an LVT hitting a mine is reported in most of the books published about Tarawa, as well as numerous military records. Among the military records are:
REPORTS OF BATTALION
"...Put two amphibious
tractors into water (only ones carried) from whence they joined LT. 1/6 on Beach
Green South. (One struck a mine on the beach, disabling it and killing or injuring
its crew; the other was struck by an aerial bomb several hours later, disabling it.)..."
THE SECOND STORY
"LVT TRAVELS SOUTH IN WATER OFF GREEN BEACH, TURNS EAST - HITS MINE"
This second incident of an LVT hitting a mine is reported on pages 203 and 204 of Joseph H. Alexander's book, Utmost Savagery: the three days of Tarawa:
a deadly island for both sides until the bitter end. Capt. Thomas B. Royster, USMC
commanding Baker Company, 2d Amphibian Tractor Battalion, had one of the few remaining
operational LVTs. Learning that both 1/6 and 3/6 were short of ammunition along the
south coast, Royster offered to make the delivery. Cpl. Lambert Lane, a radio operator
from Forest, Mississippi, volunteered to drive. Other volunteers manned the machine
guns. For some reason, Royster decided not to cross the island and follow the trace
of the two landing teams. Presumably, all amtrackers by then knew of the mines along
Green Beach from the explosion that destroyed one of 1/6s two LVTs the evening of
D+1. Royster took the water route, regardless, and traversed the shallows off Green
Beach without incident."
is the only published account that I have been able to find for this Black Beach
PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ABOUT ANY OF THESE EVENTS
j i m @ t a r a w a 1 9 4 3 . c o m