|Earl, Bert Duplantis, Jimmy Dubuisson, Joey Madere, Chris Rieder, Marvin
Perrett, Frank Straughan, and the crew of the CGC White Holly (with an able
assist from Boh Bros. Construction Co...) raised the wreck of the LCVP from
Irish Bayou. We originally wanted to scavenge the wreck for usable
metal parts, but a lot of the wooden pieces have become extremely important
to us. These pieces have given us a great "double check" on important
construction detail. Great work guys! By the way, we have determined
from markings on the maneuvering rudder that this boat was Higgins built!!!
Montgomery, Barnett, Brown and Read law firm is working on the documents
which will transfer ownership of the boat to the University of New Orleans,
and also establish a "perpetual care" trust for the vessel. Remember,
this firm was Higgins Industries counsel during the war. Thanks Gordon Grant
and Pat Brown! (Gordon's wife Charisse is a new construction
volunteer...she will be assisting us with the organization of our plans).
Foster Awnings (a WWII Higgins supplier) is donating the canvas we need for
We purchased enough Dolfinite to take care of our hull.
We purchased 15 sheets of solid mahogany veneer marine plywood (this stuff
cost a fortune and has the Haddock stamp of approval!). It of course
duplicates the stuff Higgins used. This wood is now primed and ready
for the saw at the build site.
Fasteners has been keeping us going with lotsa screws.
Mike Campieri got some pretty good press for us by contacting WWL radio (Bob
DelGiorno) and Channel 8 TV. Capt. Verne Streckfus and Mr. Richard
McDerby were great spokesmen!
Gueydan Lumber donated the best looking 2" x 4" x 20's you ever saw. We're
using these for the chines and sheers.
Marvin Perrett put up a great display of Higgins photos, etc. at the new
Jefferson Parish library. Again great PR!!! Marvin also lectured to
a great crowd at the library. Super attendance for a week night.
We made some great friends with the local chapter of the Society of Naval
Architects and Marine Engineers. Thank you Dr. Latore for setting that
up for us!
We got the plans back from the Nimitz Museum in Texas (thank you...)! We
pored through them and found some sheets that we were missing.
Pat Lambert began an effort to go through all of the Higgins archives to
be certain that we have every single plan sheet that the archives have.
This is one heck of a lot of work. You have no idea how many
rolls of plans there are to look through. Hopefully the result will
be that we will have a complete set of drawings for our hull. The job
is going on as of this writing. Hats off to Pat's crew and the staff
at UNO's archives!
Bill Phelps is handling the much-needed copying of the plans we need.
Thanks Bill, for coordinating this with Don Pekarek from UNO.
R. J. Marchand fixed our drill press. Thanks Mr. Frank!
Ed Daroca's company is donating steel and fabrication for frame brackets.
Wow! Ed is also working on the press we will use to duplicate
those elusive plywood sideshell scarf joints.
Joey Madere has done a great job bead-blasting the bronze parts from the
LCVP wreck. Joey is also making the very much needed pattern for our strut.
Our fingers are crossed Joey, boy do we need that baby.
If any of you want an hour-long story, ask me (or Earl Fredricks) or Joey
about that darn strut!
I hope all of you realize the great job Frank Straughan is doing. Frank
is documenting our every step. I gave him 10 pounds of paper last month
to digest! Keep going Frank!
The Oregon broadcast group came to town to do some filming of our Higgins
stars (Haddock, McDerby, Phelps, Perrett). The interviews will be part
of an upcoming documentary for the Discovery Channel. Great! There
is a rumor that they were interested enough in our project to want to come
Mr. John Kelly of Textron Marine offered his able assistance. Thank
you, sir! I think we'll be talking to you about getting that strut
cast after Joey finishes the pattern!
Steve Garver of Donovan's Marine stepped up to the plate and told us he'd
help us with our outfit needs! Thanks sir!
Maj. Gen. Jim Livingston USMC (Ret) has offered us the full support and backing
of the National D-Day Museum. All board members concurred. Thanks
for the encouragement gents!
Thanks to Erston Reisch and Martin Machine Shop for working on our maneuvering
rudder. It "turned" out great!
Graham Haddock continues to push us in the right direction when we lose our
way. I'm hearing from our lead people that we'd be in a world of hurt
without Mr. Haddock. God bless you sir!
Many, many, many thanks to the Edward Higgins family for their extraordinary
donation to the project!
We purchased a set of correct manila fenders for the boat. Marvin Perrett
made up a heaving line. We got what looks like a correct WWII CO2 fire
extinguisher (display only) from the New Orleans Fire Museum.
Trinity Marine donated a bunch of correct grey paint and thinner. Thanks!
Thanks Stewart and Stevenson for coming through with the great donation that
enabled us to purchase that all-important crate of engineering stuff (BM
talk!) in Portsmouth. Opening those crates should be fun.
I'm still working on a neat (free) way to get those crates here. Betcha
I get it done...any takers? PROBLEM SOLVED 01 JAN!
T-shirts are coming! Wait till you get a load of these babies. I
see a fashion trend in the wind here. They look great. Available
at our gift boutique soon. George Benedetto designed these. We'll sell
them at a nominal cost - $15.00.
Avondale is studying our fuel tank requirements. They have the plans
right now. Let's keep our fingers crossed.
O-Tech is chomping at the bit to begin work on the bow ramp. We've
got to wait a little longer before we begin. Hang on Jorge & Esteban,
we'll be calling soon.
Dave Sintes came up with some detailed dimensional development for our headlog.
The headlog is roughed in now, but Dave's templates will enable us
to put the finishing touches on the log.
The full development of the transom was interesting. Bruce Harris knocked
it out. Thank God we had the pieces from the Irish Bayou wreck!
Fitting those pieces was a really neat puzzle. The transom story is
one we will long remember.
We've gotten an offer of assistance from a Navy hull repair unit in Baton
Rouge. They are looking at some plans now. We're hoping for mufflers.
Mssrs. Pat Taylor and John Kushner have offered to provide our machine guns.
I'm going to ask each of them to also provide the mount (rings) as
well. Icing on the cake folks!
Norfolk Southern Railroad is providing a free boxcar to bring in our stuff
from Portsmouth, VA. I can't tell you how much money this has saved
us! Arrival in New Orleans approx 30 JAN!
Jerry Strahan is being bombarded with information requests from major media.
Documentaries etc. in the works? If you build it they will come.
Dr. Ambrose paid us a visit, and brought copies of his latest book for all
present. Thanks doc!
The New Orleans Baton Rouge River Pilots have pledged a nice donation to
our project. Thanks very much!
General Livingston and Dr. Ambrose are visiting Mr. Malcolm Forbes very soon.
Mr. Forbes is possibly interested in donating some money to the D-Day
Museum. If this comes to pass, the museum has pledged an atrium which
will house our boat (The Andrew Jackson Higgins Memorial Atrium ???). Stay
And to you, my fellow volunteers ( the salvage gang, the sawdust kids, the
archive diggers, my "XO" Marvin Perrett, the paint gang, our super team leaders
- Bruce, Aubrey, Al, Ed and George) we would be nowhere without you!!!!