Higgins; the little-known hero who helped the U.S. decisively win the war!!!

A day after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, New Orleans-based shipbuilder Andrew Higgins filed an idea with the US Patent Office for a landing craft that could transport US soldiers from ships at sea to enemy-controlled beaches.

Two and a half years later, on the morning of June 6, 1944, the LCVPs — short for Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel — designed and built by Higgins’ firm were unloading wave after wave of American GIs on Normandy’s Utah Beach during the D-Day landings.

Equipped with an innovative ramp design, two .30-caliber machine guns, and room for some 36 infantrymen, “Higgins Boats” proved instrumental on D-Day. Those landings, still the largest seaborne invasion in history, were a major turning point in the war.

US troops on LCVP Higgins boat Utah Beach Normandy D-Day
US troops aboard an LCVP head to Utah Beach on June 6, 1944.

The Normandy invasion was a harrowing task of unprecedented scale.https://39045695170cb2cf4c6d936b3e9a9703.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-40/html/container.html?n=0

To succeed, the Allies needed the ability to put troops, vehicles, and other equipment ashore on beaches littered with fortifications and obstacles emplaced by the Nazi defenders. Higgins’ landing craft made this possible.

Gen. Dwight Eisenhower later referred to Higgins as “the man who won the war for us.” The shipbuilder’s reputation extended to Germany, where Adolf Hitler begrudgingly complimented him as “the New Noah.”

Who was Andrew Higgins?

Andrew Higgins
Andrew Higgins, center, developed several kinds of landing craft that were invaluable during World War II.

Higgins manufactured more than 20,000 boats during his decades-long career. His landing craft were used in every major amphibious assault of World War II, from the shores of Europe to the Pacific islands.

“He was the right person with the right ideas and the right drive at the right time,” Joshua Schick, curator and restoration dmanager at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, told Insider.

The Doolittle Raid: A Bold and Impactful Attack on Japanese Mainland during World War II

Abstract: The Doolittle Raid was a daring and decisive attack carried out by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on Tokyo and other major cities in Japan during World War II. Led by Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle, this raid marked the first time American bombers had successfully launched a strike on the Japanese mainland, serving as a crucial turning point in the Pacific Theater of the war. This paper provides an overview of the events leading up to the Doolittle Raid, the execution of the attack, and its significant impact on the course of the war.


The attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, brought the United States into World War II. This act of aggression by the Japanese left the US government and military with no choice but to retaliate. The Doolittle Raid, which took place on April 18, 1942, was a direct response to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The mission was to strike back at the Japanese mainland and boost American morale, as well as prove to the enemy that the United States could strike back.

The Lead-up to the Doolittle Raid:

In the months following the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States was preparing to launch a counter-offensive. President Roosevelt ordered the formation of a secret task force under the command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle to develop a plan for an attack on the Japanese mainland. The task force identified B-25 Mitchell bombers as the most suitable aircraft for the mission due to their range and size.

Execution of the Doolittle Raid:

On April 18, 1942, 16 B-25 bombers led by Doolittle took off from the deck of the USS Hornet, an aircraft carrier positioned in the Pacific Ocean. The bombers carried a limited payload of bombs and fuel, as they were not designed to take off from a carrier. After completing their mission, the planes were to fly to China where they would be recovered by the US military.

The bombers made their way to Tokyo and other major cities in Japan, causing significant damage and destruction. Though the attack did not inflict major damage on Japan’s military capabilities, it caused panic among the Japanese people and forced the government to divert resources to defending the home islands, thus weakening their position in the war.

Impact of the Doolittle Raid:

The Doolittle Raid had a profound impact on the course of the war in the Pacific. It was a significant victory for the United States, marking the first time American bombers had successfully launched an attack on the Japanese mainland. This achievement had a significant impact on American morale, which was boosted after a series of defeats in the Pacific. The attack also demonstrated to the Japanese that the United States was capable of striking their mainland and forced them to divert resources from their offensive campaigns, giving the United States a strategic advantage in the war.


The Doolittle Raid was a daring and successful attack on the Japanese mainland during World War II. It served as a turning point in the Pacific Theater of the war, boosting American morale and weakening Japan’s position. The success of the mission also demonstrated the ingenuity and bravery of the US military, highlighting their ability to adapt to changing circumstances and overcome significant challenges. The Doolittle Raid was a pivotal moment in the war, and its impact continues to be felt to this day.

Abraham Wald and WW2 Data!

During World War II, fighter planes would come back from battle with bullet holes. The Allies found the areas that were most commonly hit by enemy fire. They sought to strengthen the most commonly damaged parts of the planes to reduce the number that was shot down.

A mathematician, Abraham Wald, pointed out that perhaps there was another way to look at the data. Perhaps the reason certain areas of the planes weren’t covered in bullet holes was that planes that were shot in those areas did not return. This insight led to the armor being re-enforced on the parts of the plane where there were no bullet holes.

The story behind the data is arguably more important than the data itself. Or more precisely, the reason behind why we are missing certain pieces of data may be more meaningful than the data we have.

Remembering Pearl Harbor

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a surprise attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

More than 2,000 Americans were killed amid the bombings, which destroyed a significant number of US battleships and airplanes.

In a speech to Congress the following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the day of the attack “a date which will live in infamy.” Shortly thereafter, Congress passed a declaration of war against Japan, casting the United States into World War II.

Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance

This Wednesday marks an important day in our country’s history – it is the National Pearl Harbor Day of Remembrance, commemorated each year on December 7th. On this infamous day in 1941, Japan attacked the Hawaiian base of America’s Pacific fleet, killing more than 2,400 people. It was a surprise attack – the U.S. was engaged in peace talks with Japan when they launched 350 warplanes to attack our country. 

330 U.S. planes and 19 ships were damaged or destroyed. The attack united Americans in a call to war and pushed the United States into World War II as we declared war on Japan. The Pearl Harbor National Memorial and Pacific Historic Parks in Honolulu are making plans for this year’s 81stCommemoration. The theme is Everlasting Legacy and focuses on the sacrifices made by Americans who served in World War II. It was mostly young Americans who died that day, and who served during the war, and today we commonly call them the “Greatest Generation” – their sacrifice and bravery saved our country and brought peace back to our world. December 7th is a good day to learn more about the history that has shaped our country and the sacrifices made by generations before us and still being made every day by servicemen and women deployed around the globe to help keep peace.