June 6, 2022, is the 78th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy. Among the thousands of people who contributed to is success was inventor Andrew Higgins. Higgins was a boat builder and his low draft boat hull design — patented in 1939 (U.S. Patent No. 2,144,111) was well suited for landing on shallow beaches without damaging the propeller.
Higgins later design — for a landing craft with a deployable ramp (U.S. Patent No. 2,341,866) was adopted by the U.S. Navy. Higgins filed this patent application on the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in issued four months before the D-Day landing It has been estimated that at one point during WWII, 90% of the Navy’s fleet were boats designed by Higgins.
On D-Day, more than 4,000 Allied soldiers lost their lives, and many more were wound or went missing, However, many more owe their lives — and the success of the landing — to Louisiana boat builder and inventor, Andrew Higgins.