Eisenhower said Andrew Jackson Higgins was "the man that won the war for us." Although Higgins" design for a shallow draft water craft was unintended for use during World War II, he became responsible for producing the majority of the amphibious assault landing craft, primarily the Landing Craft Vehicle Person (LCVP), which led to an allied victory in World War II. The "Higgins Boats" rapid and efficient mass production, effective design, and diversity led them to be the most prominent vessels during World War II.
Andrew Jackson Higgins started out as the owner of a small company called A.J. Higgins Lumber and Exports. As he began to purchase land for logging, he found a need for a boat that could handle the difficult task of carrying heavy loads of logs through extremely shallow waters. Present day boats of the time with drafts shallow enough to manage the depth lacked the power necessary to haul such weight. Higgins solution to this problem was to design and build a boat with a "recessed propeller" into a tunnel in the hull to protect it. Although Higgins ingenuity solved the problem, he was not satisfied. Higgins recognized that because the propeller was elevated so much, it was churning in aerated water instead of a solid flow which greatly reduced its power. Higgins was so perplexed and dedicated to finding a solution; he decided to turn away from the depleting business of timber supplies to concentrate on small boat construction and design. .
Andrew Jackson Higgins opened Higgins Industries on September 26, 1930 to begin selling his new designs of shallow draft watercraft. Higgins" new company concentrated on accommodating the needs of oilmen, local trappers, and lumbermen who needed boats capable of running aground, retracting itself, managing floating logs, sandbars, and debris without damage to the hull. .
The US Army Corps of Engineers was the first military establishment to turn to Higgins" new business to fulfill its needs.