Bayou to Battlefield: Higgins Industries during World War II

The permanent exhibit Bayou to Battlefield: Higgins Industries during World War II tells the remarkable story of WWII boatbuilder Andrew Jackson Higgins and his Higgins Industries workforce in vivid detail through text panels, artifacts, a video presentation, and an interactive table with Higgins highlights including a series of oral-history clips from former Higgins Industries employees.

Located next to the Museum’s “Higgins boat” replica in Louisiana Memorial Pavilion, the exhibit shows how the Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP)—adapted from Higgins’s shallow-draft swamp boat called the Eureka—revolutionized amphibious warfare by enabling the landing of troops and supplies over an open beach. In addition, the exhibit celebrates the large, diverse New Orleans workforce that not only built the more than 20,000 combat watercraft essential to the success of the Normandy invasion on D-Day, as well as all other major amphibious landings of the war, but also patrol-torpedo boats, supply ships, marine radios, torpedo tubes, aircraft components, and even precision parts for the Manhattan Project.

Bayou to Battlefield: Higgins Industries during World War II is made possible through a gift from Beverly and Lester Wainer, in honor of Lester Wainer’s WWII Service in the US Navy, Pacific Theater, aboard the USS Clay (APA-39).