On June 6, 1944, more than 130,000 troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France in a campaign called Operation Overlord. To succeed, the operation needed boats that could be landed directly on beaches without using a dock or wharf.
Higgins Industries, a New Orleans company headed by Andrew Jackson Higgins, patented and built a specially designed boat that was used for the D-Day amphibious landings. President Eisenhower later called Higgins “the man that won the war for us.”
A copy of this patent can be found using the U.S. Patent and Trade Mark Office’s Patent and Full-Text Database.The National Archives also has a special virtual exhibit commemorating D-Day that includes a digital copy of the original patent for the Higgins Boat Landing Craft. Here is the accompanying drawing of the design:
ost 133,000 troops landed on D-Day. hat could transport military equipment to the beaches without the use of wharves or docks was crucial.