The LOUISiana Digital Library and the Earl K. Long Library of the University of New Orleans are pleased to announce that the Higgins Industries Collection is now available online:
Although part of it has been online since last summer, the ravages of Hurricane Katrina have delayed our finishing this first phase of the collection until now. This collection will be of interest to anyone working in World War II naval history.
The first 640 drawings in this collection are of Motor Torpedo Boats (MTB), better known as PT boats, which formed a major part of the company's war effort. From 1939-1945 the U. S. Navy contracted for 808 of these boats, generally in squadron-sized groups of twelve. Higgins Industries built or contracted to deliver 221 of them. PTs 5, 6, 70, and 564 (Hellcat) were prototypes while the rest were series, or "classes" of contracts: 71-94; 197-254; 265-313; 450-485; 625-660; and 791-802. The contracts for Nos. 797-808 were cancelled in the latter half of 1945 and these boats were never completed. Most of the plans in this collection applied to an entire class (designated by the number of the first boat in each group: 71, 197, 265, 450, 625, and 791). If a plan pertains only to a subset of the class, then the Sub-Class field is listed as well (e.g. 199-210). There are also some plans related to other boats or variations worked on by the company: 100' Motor Powered Destroyer; 34' PT Commando; 70' MASB; 70' MTB; 70'-6" MTB; 70'-8.5" Patrol Vessel; 76' MTB; 78' MTB.
John C. Kelly
Digital Initiatives Librarian
Earl K. Long Library
University of New Orleans
New Orleans LA 70148
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