The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16337 Message #1420806
Posted By: PoppaGator
25-Feb-05 - 12:28 PM
Thread Name: Help: Beatles, Henry Kaiser & Higgins Boats
Subject: RE: Help: Beatles, Henry Kaiser & Higgins Boats
Found this thread while looking into the current "Beatles and Folk Music" discussion; the reference to "Higgins Boats" caught my attention.
New Orleans shipbuilder Andrew Higgins designed the landing craft used for the Normandy invasion and for many amphibious assaults on islands across the Pacific. His company produced huge numbers of these (wooden) boats during WWII, employing thousands of people who worked 'round the clock at various sites around the city.
He was largely forgotten by the 1990s (except for one suburban high school named in his honor, few of whose students have known anything about the Higgins after whom their school was named). However, thanks to the efforts of historian Stephen Ambrose and the bankroll of movie mogul Steven Spielberg, the recent establishment of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans has reawakened interest in the Higgins Boats and awareness of Andrew Higgins the man. (Adolph Hitler himself is said to have credited Higgins as the one man most responsible for bringing about his defeat.)
Also, after reading the thread with all its references to Howard Hughes and the "Spruce Goose," I figured ~ what with the recent Hollywood release of "The Aviator" ~ that I wouldn't be the only one to find this stuff interesting.