Welcome to the USS LST 494 Assoc. Web Site!
 
The Higgins Boat
Landing Craft Vehicle, Personnel
(LCVP)
"The Higgins boats broke the gridlock on the ship-to-shore movement.  It is impossible to overstate the tactical advantages this craft gave U.S. amphibious commanders in World War II."
 
Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret)      
A FELLOWSHIP OF VALOR
The Battle History of the United States Marines
 
"'Andrew Higgins..'..Eisenhower said..'..is the man who won the war for us.'  My face must have shown the astonishment I felt at hearing such a strong statement from such a source. Eisenhower went on to explain, 'If Higgins had not designed and built those LCVPs, we never could have landed over an open beach.  The whole strategy of the war would have been different.'"
 
Stephen E. Ambrose    
D-DAY JUNE 6, 1944: THE CLIMACTIC BATTLE OF WORLD WAR II
 
LST 494's Assault Boats
LCVPs
All of the men who served on LST 494 were assigned to "extra-hazardous duty."  No one, however, had it any tougher than the men assigned to the "small boats."  These were the Higgins assault boats (LCVPs) that would land troops and material on an invasion beachhead in advance of LST 494.  In the European Theater LST 494 carried 6 LCVPs, as opposed to 4 in the Pacific Theater.  These boats usually had a 4 man crew.
 
Higgins boats were 36'3" in length and had a beam of 10'10".  Their displacement was 18,000 lbs.(unloaded).  They could do a speed of 9 knots and were defended by 2, .30 cal. machine guns.  They could carry 36 combat equipped infantrymen or 8,000 pounds of cargo.  The U.S. produced 23,398 of them during World War II.    
 
During the Normandy Invasion, these LCVPs from LST 494 landed troops from the 26th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division into the teeth of the most heavily fortified German sector-Omaha Beach.  Their designated landing beach on Omaha was Fox Green Beach, but due to heavy enemy  fire and  beach congestion from destroyed landing crafts, LST 494's LCVPs had to go down the beach and land at Easy Red Beach.  One of LST 494's LCVPs never reached the beach.  It hit a mine and was blown out of the water with 35 soldiers and her crew aboard.
 
For a gripping, first-hand account of the landing, please go to:
 
LST 494 HISTORY OF THE ASSAULT ON
OMAHA BEACH DURING THE NORMANDY INVASION
 
and
 
JOURNAL FOR THE 3RD BATTALION
26th INFANTRY REGIMENT
1st INFANTRY DIVISION
 
and
 
LST 494 LCVP COXSWAIN DONALD F. BEACH'S HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE LANDING
 
 
LCVPs AKA Higgins Boats
Ships of the U. S. Navy, 1940-1945
The Higgins Boat
National WW II Museum, New Orleans, LA
While you're on board, please sign our Guestbook.

RETURN TO LST 494 HOME PAGE
What are LSTs?|History of LST 494|Campaign Medals
Association Information|Reunion Information|Medal of Honor
Battleship Texas|Joe Guarino|Other Interesting Web Sites
Web Site Awards
<BGSOUND SRC="http://ftp.sunet.se/pub/music/midi/mirror.filecity/dire_straits/brothers_in_arms.mid" LOOP="-1">