TBT: New Orleans during WWII, 20 photos - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

TBT: New Orleans during WWII, 20 photos

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -

The City of New Orleans made a massive and unique contribution to America's World War II effort.

New Orleans was home to Higgins Industries. With humble beginnings, Higgins Industries exploded with the war. Higgins grew from 79 employees in 1939, to more than 20,000 by war's end, according to Nola.com/ The Times Picayune.

Andrew Jackson Higgins, an entrepreneur from Nebraska, founded Higgins Industries in New Orleans. Prior to the war, the company specialized in designing small shallow-draft boats for operating the shallow marches and swamps of Louisiana. The US Navy used some of these early ‘Eureka Boats' boats.

After adding a front ramp to the design, the famed LCVP “Higgins Boat” was born.

Higgins' amphibious boat designs allowed for the mass delivery of men and equipment from ship to shore.

His ships were used in every major American amphibious operation in the European and Pacific theaters, including D-Day in Normandy, according to the National WWI Museum.

His workforce in New Orleans was also the first to be racially integrated, employing blacks, whites, seniors and people with disabilities.

Following the war, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called Higgins "the man who won the war for us.”

Mobile user? View all 20 photos here: http://bit.ly/14RRGsN 

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