After the 1935 Labor Day hurricane that hit Florida, John A. Roebling developed a hurricane rescue vehicle. He finished a prototype in 1937. The U.S. Marine Corps became interesting in the vehicles, after seeing it in the a 1937 issue of Life magainze. Roebling built an aluminum hulled prototype in 1939. In 1940 Roebling was contracted to build an all steel vehicle for the US Navy and US Marines. He worked with the Food Machinery and Chemical Corp to manufacture the vehicles he had named Alligator. 200 (300) were ordered in November 1940. In July 1941 the first production model (LVT-1) was completed.
Donald Reeling introduced the Alligator in 1935 to be used in the Florida Everglades. This was followed by an improved version in 1940. The US Marine Corps ordered them with steel and a more powerful engine.
The US Marine Corps adopted its improved version using mild steel armor at Tarawa in November 1943. 500 built. Manufactured by Food Machinery Co.