The backbone of American amphibious warfare in World War II began as a shallow-draft wooden boat designed for Louisiana trappers and oil drillers by lumberman Andrew Jackson Higgins, who gradually turned his boatbuilding sideline into his primary business. His 36-foot-long Eureka boat could reach 20 knots or faster and became a craft of choice for Prohibition-era rumrunners and the Coast Guard crews who hunted them.
As war loomed, the U.S. Marine Corps, aware the Japanese were using similar landing craft with retractable bow ramps in China, fought for years to adopt Higgins' Eureka boat against the protests of a Navy that insisted on designing its own craft. Higgins built his prototype of pine, oak and mahogany, with ¼-inch steel plating on the front and sides. With his addition of a bow ramp in 1941, the Navy conceded the superiority of Higgins' boat, and that June the first LCVP (Landing Craft, Vehicle, Personnel) entered the U.S. naval arsenal. Just six months later the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor drew the United States into history's most protracted amphibious war.
Between 1942 and '45 Higgins and licensees built more than 23,000 LCVPs. The Higgins boat, as it became popularly known, saw use on every front from Sicily to Normandy, Guadalcanal to Okinawa, landing more troops than all other craft combined.
The LCVP (better known as the Higgins boat) was a favorite of coastal rumrunners but came into its own as a World War II landing craft on beachheads from Normandy to Guadalcanal. (Illustration by Gregory Proch)
The LST 1090 has three of these Higgins boats on board
as well as one LCPL (Landing Craft Personal Launch)
converted to a Commodores Gig
This is Dowling and his pride and joy getting a little help from
Rushak. Note that the Gig has LST Div. 32. This must have
been in Japan or Korea. We were still Div. 34 in October of
1953 Became Div 32 in 1954.
LCVP 1090-1 was taken in San Diego in the latter part of 1958
Operating Graymarine Boat Engines
Found in his old papers by Terry Whipple
Terry Whipple came across an old BlueJackets
Manual with this info on the LCVP
That got my curiosity so I found mine. It is the 14th edition.
It also had the "M" boat in it.
I am sure we have all seen them and may at some
time have ridden in one.
The Higgins Boat Project