"Navy doesn't know one damn thing about small boats." - Andrew Higgins
General Eisenhower once said of Andrew Higgins, "He is he man who won the war for us. If Higgins had not designed the LCVP's, we could never have landed on an open beach. The whole strategy of the war would have been different."
Before the war Andrew Higgins was building small boats out of wood for use by the oil industry to explore the Louisiana swamps. Certain of impending war, Higgins bought the entire 1939 crop of mahogany from the Philippines and stored for future use.
When the war started Higgins produced Landing craft for the marines. What he delivered was far superior to any previous craft employed in the role.
An LCVP (Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel) was 36 feet long and ten and a half feet wide. Apart from the front ramp, which was metal, the craft was made of wood. It could carry a platoon of thirty six men or a jeep and a squad of twelve men. It was prone to bounce all over the place, even in moderate seas, but it could deliver men and material right up to the beach, unload in seconds, and turn around and go back for more.
By the end of the war over 20,000 LCVP's had been produced serving in the Pacific, the Mediterranean and the D-Day landings.