World War II-era boat brought to Daytona Beach
By JOE MARIO PEDERSEN | Orlando Sentinel | Published: April 23, 2020
(Tribune News Service) — It’s not every day you see a World Warr II-era ship lifted into the air and placed into a storage lot, but it was the position of this particular “Higgins Boat" on its way to being restored to its former glory.
On Tuesday, crane operators lifted the 18,000-pound landing craft off a truck, which had carried it from College Station, Texas, according to a Daytona Beach News Journal report.
The ship once carried military men to foreign shores for amphibious based missions, such as Normandy on D-Day. Now, it’s scheduled to be restored by the World War II Veterans History Project, a nonprofit Clermont-based group.
There are only nine Higgins boats left in the United States, out of 19 known originals in the world, according to the group’s website.
“Although it is a heartbreaking fact, we must come to terms with the reality that one day, there will no longer be WWII veterans to give firsthand accounts of the war,” said the group’s founder, Benjamin Mack-Jackson on the website regarding the importance of saving the Higgins Boat. “Historical artifacts, like this original WWII Higgins Boat, combined with our library of hundreds of oral histories, will allow future generations to have a greater understanding of the service and sacrifices of our Greatest Generation.”
The ship is expected to be a traveling exhibit at museums around the nation, but the group still requires a company to take lead on the restoration effort.