Andrew Jackson Higgins

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Andrew Jackson Higgins

Birthplace: Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska, United States
Death: August 01, 1952 (65)
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States
Place of Burial: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Hon. John G. Higgins and Annie Long Higgins
Husband of Angele Leona Higgins
Father of Edmond C Higgins; Andrew Jackson Higgins, Jr.; Frank O. Higgins; Angele Andree Stefferud; Roland Colsson Higgins and 1 other
Brother of John Marcellus Higgins; Elizabeth Higgins; Edward B Higgins; Joy Montgomery Higgins; Francis P Higgins and 4 others

Occupation: Inventor, industrialist, lumber exporter
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Andrew Jackson Higgins

Andrew Jackson Higgins (28 August 1886 – 1 August 1952) was the founder and owner of Higgins Industries, the New Orleans-based manufacturer of "Higgins boats" (LCVPs) during World War II. The Higgins Boat was the most widely used amphibious assault boat of World War II.

From Higgins Memorial

"Andrew Higgins ..."  ..Eisenhower said.. "is the man who won the war for us." "...If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVP's, we never could have landed over an open beach.  The whole strategy of the war would have been different.

From Find A Grave Memorial# 8751354

Born and raised in Nebraska, he joined the Nebraska National Guard, becoming a lieutenant, and several years later, he moved to Louisiana, where he started a lumber business. While searching for hardwood in the Louisiana swamps, he realized that the lack of a shallow draft boat kept lumbermen from getting to the more remote stands of hardwood. During the 1930s, he decided to invent one. His breakthrough invention that made landing craft possible was the combination of a tunnel to protect the propeller and drive shaft from vegetation and the bending distortion of the hull that prevented cavitation, which increased boat speed. In 1938, he won a Navy contract for a test boat, and in 1940, it was approved, followed by a contract for more boats. During the war, his company built 20,094 boats for the Navy. An outspoken, hot-tempered Irishman who loved bourbon, he described his personal philosophy as "The hell I can't."

In a 1943 Newsweek article, he was described as "an authentic master builder, with the will power, brains, drive and daring that characterized the American empire builders of an earlier generation."  

from NOLA History: D-Day and “The Man Who Won The War”

The anniversary of D-Day commemorates the first day of Operation Overlord, the invasion of Europe by Allied forces in World War II. An incredible amount of training, logistics, sacrifice, and dedication went into preparing for June 6, 1944. Some of the most critical components that day (and every successive landing by American forces in WWII) were the boats that got the troops ashore. Those boats were built here in New Orleans, by Higgins Industries....

At the height of its production in 1943, Higgins Industries employed over 20,000 men and women in New Orleans. One of the more notable aspects of the company was that the Higgins workforce was fully integrated. White folks worked alongside African-Americans. Like in many other industries and parts of the country, women were a major part of the Higgins workforce. In all, those workers, under Higgins’ leadership, produced 20,094 boats that were used by US forces in both theaters of the war.


From Wikipedia

He was the inventor and holder of 30 patents pertinent to amphibious landing craft and vehicles.

In 1943 Creighton University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.[22]

In 1987, the Fleet Oiler, USNS Andrew J. Higgins (T-AO-190) was named in his honor. There is a memorial to Andrew Higgins in Columbus, Nebraska; a seven-mile (11 km) segment of U.S. Route 81 south of Columbus is designated as the "Andrew Jackson Higgins Expressway".

In 2000, a 7-block section of Howard Avenue in the Warehouse District of New Orleans near the newly opened D-Day Museum (now the National WWII Museum) was renamed "Andrew Higgins St.".[23]

Jerry Meyer, a history teacher at Columbus High School, worked with his students to create the Higgins Memorial in Columbus, Nebraska.[24]


  • 22. Nebraska State Journal, Higgins Awarded Creighton Degree, May 14, 1943
  • 23.
  • 24. Higgins Memorial Project, Home page, Higgins Memorial Project, retrieved June 15, 2014
  • Wikipedia, Higgins Memorial, Jerry E. Strahan, Andrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats that Won World War II, 1998, page 5, "Higgins: The Forgotten Man"
  • Residence: (1900 — Age: 14) Omaha, Douglas, Nebraska, USA
  • Marriage to Angele Colsson: (16 Oct 1908 — Age: 22)
  • civil: (10 Mar 1919 — Age: 32)
  • civil: (29 Jul 1920 — Age: 33)
  • Arrival: (3 Sep 1920 — Age: 34) New Orleans, Jefferson, Louisiana, USA
  • Residence: (1920 — Age: 34) New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Arrival: (10 Jul 1922 — Age: 35) New York, USA
  • Residence: (1930 — Age: 44) New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Residence: (1930 — Age: 44) New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Residence: (1 Apr 1940 — Age: 53) New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Residence: New Orleans, Jefferson, Louisiana, USA
  • Departure: Habana, Ciego de Avila, Cuba
  • Residence: USA
  • Burial: Metarie Cemetery, New Orleans, La
  • Departure: Liverpool, Lancashire, England
  • other: New Orleans, Jefferson, Louisiana, USA
  • Residence: New Orleans, Orleans, Louisiana, USA
  • Burial: New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, USA
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Andrew Jackson Higgins's Timeline

August 28, 1886
Columbus, Platte County, Nebraska, United States
October 30, 1909
Mississippi, United States
Louisiana, United States
December 22, 1918
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States
December 30, 1921
Louisiana, United States
August 1, 1952
Age 65
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States
August 1, 1952
Age 65
Metairie Cemetery, New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States