June 6, 2022, is the 78th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy. Among the thousands of people who contributed to its 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 in shallows and on 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. His patent application was filed 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 wounded or missing, Still more owe their lives, and the success of the landing, to Louisiana boat builder and inventor, Andrew Higgins.