Memorial Day is an important reminder of the importance of our men and women in the armed forces. During World War II, there was a person back home in New Orleans who made an his own contribution to the war effort: Andrew Jackson Higgins. His Higgins Industries produced the first amphibious landing craft: the LCVP (landing craft vehicle and personnel) and LCM (landing craft mechanized). The boats were a key element in the Normandy invasion of D-Day. You can see two displayed in the National World War II Museum, which throughout the month of May is hosting a number of events: May 19 is the Armed Forces Celebration; May 22 is the “Victory Ball” benefit; on May 26 Jason Theriot will talk about “Untold Stories of D-Day,” and the special exhibit, “Boats of Wood, Men of Steel: Wooden Combat Boats of WWII” is on display until May 20. And if you want to learn more about our brave men and women, the museum is open on Memorial Day (it is usually closed on Monday).
photos courtesy of the National World War II Museum
Left: In 1943, on what historians believe may have been Memorial Day, Andrew Jackson Higgins (far right), whose company manufactured the famous Higgins boats, is delivering a speech to a crowd in City Park. The event also celebrated Higgins Industries’ earning the Navy’s “E” for Excellence award. Higgins boat
No. 10,000 is in the background. Above: Andrew Jackson Higgins (center) with military brass. There were 20,000 boats built by Higgins’ company in New Orleans during World War II.