For nearly a century, Andrew Higgins has been celebrated as one of the unsung heroes of World War II. A businessman from New Orleans, Higgins pioneered the design of the landing craft that allowed Allied forces to fight back against Hitler’s German naval power and pave the way for victory.
Born in 1886, Andrew Higgins grew up working with his father at their family boatyard in Louisiana. Though his early work focused primarily on building pleasure boats, he soon saw an opportunity to start producing vessels for use in war. With support and backing from private patrons — such as Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway — Higgins and his team created the Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) aka “Higgins Boats” which were primarily used during D-Day invasion of Normandy.
What made these craft so special is that they could carry large amounts of troops while still being able to handle choppy waters; allowing them to disembark almost anywhere they wanted without having to wait for shoreline access first! This ability proved invaluable during major battles and ultimately played a pivotal role in helping America gain a foothold on Europe’s beaches and eventually achieve overall victory over the Axis powers.
As news about Higgins’ positive impact began to spread, President Eisenhower himself famously stated: “Andrew Higgins…is the man who won the war for us”. Postwar years brought multiple honors for Mr. Andrews including two honorary doctorates from Tulane University and Louisiana State University as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award from Seafarers International Union — but perhaps most importantly recognition on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton where a replica of one of his boats stands proudly alongside its memorial marker honoring him forevermore.