Higgins file photo [725]

Andrew Higgins

SurnameHiggins
Given NameAndrew
Born26 Aug 1886
Died1 Aug 1952
CountryUnited States
CategoryCommerce-Industry
GenderMale

Contributor:

ww2dbaseAndrew Jackson Higgins won the war for the Allies, at least according to General Eisenhower. In a conversation with historian Steven Ambrose in 1964, he said:

"If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel), we never could have landed over an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different."

ww2dbase"Higgins boats," with their distinctive front loading, swing-down-to-the-beach ramp, gave the Allies "the ability to transport thousands of men and hundreds of tons of equipment swiftly through the surf to less-fortified beaches, eliminating the need for established harbors" and were used extensively in both the Pacific and European theatres in World War II.

ww2dbaseSpecifically, it could land "a platoon of 36 men with their equipment, or a jeep and 12 men, extract itself quickly, turn around without broaching in the surf, and go back out to get more troops and/or supplies."

ww2dbaseBorn in 1886, Higgins was a successful boat builder in New Orleans catering to regional businesses prior to the war. By the war's end, his company had produced over 20,000 boats, among them the famous landing craft in different forms, and high speed PT-boats, "which carried anti-aircraft machine guns, smoke-screen devices, depth charges, and Higgins-designed compressed-air-fired torpedo tubes."

ww2dbaseEven Hitler knew of Higgins, calling him the "new Noah." His contributions to wartime production, as Eisenhower suggests, were crucial to victory.

ww2dbaseHiggins died in 1952.

ww2dbaseSources: The Higgins Boat Project, Higgins Memorial, National D-Day Museum, New Orleans Public Library, USS Rankin

Andrew Higgins Timeline

26 Aug 1886 Andrew Higgins was born.
25 May 1942 Andrew Higgins' landing craft competed with US Navy's standard landing craft in choppy waters at Norfolk, Virginia, United States; Higgins' boat defeated the US Navy boat in all categories.
1 Aug 1952 Andrew Higgins passed away.

Photographs

Higgins Boat, date unknownAndrew Higgins standing on the bow ramp of an LCVP prototype observing an exercise with a loaded Eureka Boat (predecessor of the LCP(L)), New Orleans, Louisiana, United States, circa 1941. Note other boats on the wharf.




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Higgins Boat, date unknown
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