|Born||26 Aug 1886|
|Died||1 Aug 1952|
Contributor: Bryan Hiatt
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:
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.|
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James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 Feb 1945