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Tom Godwin
Re: Researcher's bonanza
Wed Feb 21, 2018 09:49

Yes, it has been an obsession. Lonnie had stated the whole group went into a 16-in shell crater including the amtrac after it was apparently disabled by a grenade thrown into the engine compartment. There were the references to the hospital by he and another Marine, David Rembert, with my dad. Also, that a Japanese pillbox was just above the crater and that they had tried to actually make the revetments but were driven back. Interesting, as there were discussions as far back as 2008 in this forum on an unearthed amtrac “with armor piercing shells still protruding from the front”. Here is a picture of a map I sent to Lonnie asking him to show me where they had ended up. If you can read his hand writing, you can see that he said that the trac had been hit by two anti-boat shells in the front that did not explode ending with - “Lucky Us”. Some reports have stated this LVT was inland near the boundaries of Red1 and Red 2. Another states it was west of the sand-covered bunker George spoke to which, to me, is not at the boundary of R1&2. If the latter was it, then Lonnie had to be way off and I don’t think he was. More info in this forum proposed that there may have been two LVTs found at different times. To my knowledge, I have never seen anything stating the ‘exact’ location of the unearthed LVT with certainty. In an article in Follow Me, Lonnie even stated they had made it to within 30 feet of the the revetments. In any event, I have been amazed by their story and that of all the Marines on Tarawa. My dad never spoke about Tarawa. A Captain referred to him as one of those “zipped-lip” guys. I have decided I want my grand children and theirs to know and remember the story of my dad, the men that were with him and all the Marines at Tarawa and so my search goes on. Good luck with your trip to Quantico.

  • Researcher's bonanzaDurk Steed, Tue Feb 20 21:47
    Tom, I can only imagine how meaningful it is to research your father's movements on Tarawa, and I'm sure each new piece of information adds to the respect your have for the Marine's accomplishment in ... more
    • Re: Researcher's bonanza — Tom Godwin, Wed Feb 21 09:49
    • Photo #105hockstedler, Tue Feb 20 23:56
      All these photos are absolutely amazing. I downloaded each one to have on my PC. Picture #105 is truly a treasure. If you look at the beach area just onshore about 200 feet you can see a large... more
      • photo #105Tom Godwin, Wed Feb 21 09:58
        You are welcome. I hope to see more as well. Battle ended on the 23rd and this is dated from the 24th. Interesting to note they were at 500' and that they used GCT 0150 as the time. Had not heard of... more
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