Apricots and Amtracs at Tarawa

My name is Jim Walker and I was a crew chief of an Alligator Amtrac on D-Day +1 during the invasion of Tarawa. I was told to pick up supplies from an AKA transport ship anchored offshore. I tied up along side the AKA and while the navy crew members were loading the supplies I was invited to come aboard for a cup of hot coffee. The young loading officer asked me if I would like some Spam and apricots to take back ashore; and I replied that we had plenty of "C" ration, but would like some peaches instead of apricots. The young officer said that he could arrange that; included a six gallon of peaches and we got aboard our tractor and returned to the beach.

When we arrived at the beach a First Lieutenant had his men unload the tractor. I told him about the exchange of apricots for peaches. He said that he and his men appreciated the peaches and as for the apricots...he couldn't stand the damn things and hoped that none of the Amtracers would ever allow apricots aboard their vehicles. At this point I returned to my regular duties.

This is a true statement as far as my memory allows.

James C. Walker