Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 6.44.41 AMThis Memorial Day weekend we all look back and thank all our military folks for allowing us all to enjoy wonderful days like this weekend and peaceful nights of no worry or fear. But we should look back and thank all the folks, and companies that helped them all win the war and come home alive.

Screen Shot 2015-05-24 at 6.45.54 AMThe History Channel did this wonderful clip to the Higgins Boat Co. and their landing craft. So sit down, grab your Woody Boater mug and take a nice warm sip of Coffee Varnish and thank the good lord that we don’t need one of these today. But it sure would be fun to have this weekend. Picnic attack!

If you want to know more about Higgins Boats there is a wonderful group.Click HERE

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10 Responses to “I Guarantee That After You Watch This You’ll Want A Landing Craft!”
  1. Chris B

    So that’s why that pretty blue cruiser is called the Andrew J. I am so much more caught up today. Thanks woody.

  2. Troy in ANE

    Great video Matt!

    I think they said Higgins made over 20 thousand landing craft. If my memory serves me right I think Chris Craft built about 12 thousand. That is a lot of boats, and I am sure there were other companies out there building them also.

    It is always appropriate to thank a Vet for their service so please do so any chance you get. We should all remember that Memorial Day is designed to Memorialize those who did not make it home, while Veterans Day (you know the holiday in November that everyone works so they can get the Friday after Thanksgiving off) is intended for showing appreciation for those fine men and women who are still with us.

    • Wilson

      Troy:
      I could be wrong…but I thought with Chris Craft having three plants and Higgins only one, it was the other way around….Either way there were a lot of them…and many were used right here in my back yard at Carrabelle Beach, Fl where they did the training for the landings in Europe and the South Pacific. Ask Al Benton who has seen the pictures.

  3. Ryan K

    24′ Plane Personnel Boats built by Lyman Boat Works during WWII. Happy Memorial Day!

  4. Stan Petersen

    Thanks, Marge and Paul, for all you do for the Higgins Club and for ACBS. You are great.

  5. floyd r turbo

    The is a bronze of the original LCP (L) for Landing Craft Personnel Large where soldiers had to go over the side before the Navy/Marines observed the Japanese version that had a ramp on the front. They requested and go mock up with a ramp and the rest is history. As with the Jeep, Chris Craft built many of the LCVP’s and changed the plan for faster production and simplified maintenance, manufacturing, and operation according to Chris Smith’s comments. I also thought CC built more than Higgins, but haven’t seen any production numbers like the Navy retained for the PT boats built by Higgins, Elco, and Huckins.

  6. Sean

    Greavette built these “Fairmiles” along with eleven other Canadian boat manufacturers including Minett – Shields, Grew and MAC – Craft. A total of 167 were made and some (8) even served with the US Navy.

    Sadly, none exist today as the last example (Q105) was involved in a 2014 failed restoration/rescue as her hull now rots on the hard, near Sarnia, Ontario where she was built.

  7. Paul Rentz

    My grandfather worked for Gar Wood from 1937 to early 1945 when he died. He worked on modifications to the Soriano outboard motor to be used in eight ‘Storm Boats’ for the invasion of Japan- of course never needed. But I’m wondering if anyone has any photos of the boats themselves? My uncle, as a kid, used to ride in the bow, partly as ballast and mostly because it was fun- he was 12 to 14 at the time. This work was done in an office on Grayhaven (Edward Gray was grandpa’s first employer in Detroit at the Highland Park Motel T Plant- Gray was Ford’s Chief Engineer) near Gar Wood’s Detroit Mansion. That crew included Jimmy Woodmansee, Paul Wearly, Worth Boggermane, Burney Russell, Ed Kline, Everette Banks, Henry Swanson and of course Gar Senior and Junior.

    Quote-

    “In the Spring of 1942 the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers of Fort Belvoir, Virginia approached us requesting a high-powered, rugged motor to be used on personnel attack boats that later became known as Storm Boats. We responded by building up several 4-60s with magneto ignition, modified to produce about 50 hp at a speed range that would ensure long life, great dependability, easy starting, and good speed. A heavy-duty service lower unit was developed with side fins to protect propellers against barbed wire, shallow, rocky beaches, and especially to be able to withstand the heavy shocks of beaching on any kind of a bottom at full speed. Typically, we ran into difficulties. Our 50 hp Storm Boat Motor, as it was later called, was not what the top dog had in mind. He had heard of the Soriano, that remarkable 6-cylinder, 4-cycle supercharged outboard that Jean Dupuy had driven to the world’s mile trial record of 79.04 mph, and he wanted to give it a tryout as power for the assault boats being considered by the Engineers. Gar Wood, Jr., a well-known pre- WW II outboard racing champion, had imported a Soriano which he loaned to the Engineers for tests, and these tests turned out very well. As a result, Gar Wood was given an order to build two for further test work, since, because of the War, it was impossible to get more Sorianos over here or in Europe either, for that matter. Paul Wearly, also a well-known outboard racing champion, worked with Gar Wood in building American adaptations of the Soriano for the Army Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

    Paul Wearly wrote as follows regarding the Sorianos which he helped build:

    “This was a great engine and performed very well at all speeds. We built it with a very effective full gear shift forward, neutral, and reverse. The carburetor was a Holley-Ford “6” type with fixed jets. The ignition was a Scintilla with automatic spark advance. The powerhead weighed 90 pounds, and we developed almost 90hp on alcohol fuel before we reduced the size of the supercharger to run on gas. Before reduction, the inlet manifold temperatures were much too high to run effectively on gas ”

    Following tests on the Gar Wood built Soriano, Evinrude, and I presume other outboard manufacturers, were asked to quote on a quantity of several hundred Soriano adaptations for immediate delivery. We knew nothing about the Soriano outside its excellent mile trial performance. It was a handbuilt motor, with only rudimentary tooling. Neither we nor anyone else had any production tools for it, nor could the Army Engineers tell us where tools could be had. To set up from scratch to produce the Soriano in the volume required would take over a year, and the Engineers wanted delivery in three months. We declined to quote with regrets. Apparently the Engineers received a negative response from all other manufacturers whom they may have contacted, as no volume order for a Soriano-type motor was ever placed.

    Article by W.J. Webb (Evinrude Engineer).
    Antique Outboarder October 1976″