The Man Who Won the War for Us
The community of Columbus, Nebraska, is honored to have replicated the Andrew Jackson Higgins Memorial found at Utah Beach Museum in Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, France. The Andrew Jackson Higgins Memorial was erected at the entrance to Columbus to honor its native son. The memorial includes a full-size steel replica of the famous Higgins Boat.
Founder and President of Higgins Industries in New Orleans, Andrew Jackson Higgins, rose to international prominence during World War II for his design and mass production of Higgins Boats. These crafts gave the military the ability to transport men and equipment safely to beaches during amphibious landings.
General Dwight Eisenhower called Higgins “the man who won the war for us… 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.”
Andrew Jackson Higgins Life
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 and would become a life-long influence.
The Memorial Project
On June 6, 2000 the Omaha World Heard published an article concerning the opening of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. The article stated the National D-Day Museum had been located in New Orleans in honor of Andrew Higgins and the workers of Higgins Industries, Inc. The article stated Andrew Higgins was born in Columbus, Nebraska. When Jerry Meyer, social studies teacher at Columbus High School, read the article, he thought it appropriate to present the information to his classes and ask if they would like to honor this very important man.
The Higgins Boat (LCVP)
In September, 1943, when the United States Fifth Army landed at Salerno, Italy, and General Douglas MacArthur’s forces captured Salamaua in New Guinea, the American navy totaled 14,072 vessels. Of these boats, 12,964, or 92% of the entire U.S. Navy, were designed by Higgins Industries, Incorporated; 8,865 were built at the Higgins plants in New Orleans, La.
Higgins Monument Utah Beach
A monument to the Higgins boat (LCVP) of which 1089 took part in D-Day, the monument is located next to the Utah Beach Museum.