in 1964, Dwight D. Eisenhower called Andrew Jackson Higgins "the man who
won the war for us". Without Higgins's famous landing crafts (LCPs,
LCPLs, LCVPs, LCMs) the strategy of World War II would have been much
different and winning the war much more difficult.
Higgins was born in Columbus, Nebraska, on August 28, 1886. His
early life was spent along the Loup and Platte Rivers near the city.
Perhaps his interest in shallow draft boats was born on these shallow,
sandbar-infested rivers. His interest in shallow draft boats, the type
with his own capital.
He realized that steel would be in short supply should a war break out,
and in that case he would be far ahead in actual production of landing
During the war, his company
produced over 20,000 boats for the war effort, including the famous LCVP,
more often called the Higgins boat. This landing craft participated in
every major invasion of the war, including North Africa, Sicily, Italy,
D-Day at Normandy, and the islands of the Pacific, including Guadalcanal,
Tarawa, Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa.
Socially, Higgins and his
company were ahead of the times. Higgins Industries employed blacks and
whites, men and women, paying them all equally. In turn, the workers produced
a world class product that helped win the war.
Andrew Jackson Higgins
died on August 1, 1952. He is buried in Metairie Cemetery just outside
of New Orleans.