and I made up my mind that all future landings would be spearheaded by amphibious vehicles..amphibian tanks, carrying heavier guns Marines began to assemble in the Boat Basin at Oceanside, CA., for an Armored Amphibious Assault Battation yet to be activated.Most were young, between 17 to 21 years old, recently enlisted to serve for the war's duration. Now at they'd have 90 days to become a battation of 840 men who'd fight 70 amphibious tanks never before used in combat, leading shock troops into three epic battles of perhaps the greatest seaborne offensive in the history of war.Rhat fine fun duty lasted three months then I joined the 2nd Armored Amphibian Battalion, a great bunch of a small group of us to Oahu to experiment on how to blow a path through coral reefs for tanks using car inner-tubes filled with dynamite and other explosives.We always saved the day's last charge for a school of stunned fish that we then traded to the natives for drinks.
The most critical skill was going in and out of the surf without being swamped or stalling out. We got the much heavier LVT(A)4s with its big 75mm Howitzer open turret gun just in time for Saipan.
Finally we'd climb up over its top rail and onto its deck at last, exhausted.