WWII Higgins Boat

In Europe in the 1930’s, the Germans, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, proceeded to expand. Hitler believed his nation could become a world power. All of Europe was threatened. Even though the United States had not declared war on the Germans, President Roosevelt was sympathetic to England and secretly supplied them with military equipment because he believed Hitler was a threat to Europe and the World.

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, forcing the United States to declare war on Japan in the Pacific.

At this time, The United States became a major force in Europe with General Dwight D. Eisenhower becoming the Supreme Allied Commander.

The Second World War continued until the advance of the Allies caused Hitler to shoot himself on April 30, 1945. The news of Hitler’s death accelerated wholesale surrenders of German troops to the Western Allies. V-E Day (Victory in Europe) was complete when the surrender was signed May 7, 1945.

In the Pacific, the United States demanded an unconditional surrender from the Japanese. Japan refused to give up until the United States dropped two Atomic Bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More than 140,000 people died in those attacks. The unconditional surrender was signed on the deck of the USS Missouri, September 2, 1945.

The Motts Military Museum contains many items with extraordinary personal stories from the Second World War. This includes a major exhibit from Counter Intelligence Corps. Agent, Robert R. Richards and many items donated by Gen. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on August 6, 1945.

This WWII Landing Craft “Higgins Boat” is one of a very few still
in existence in the world. Sam Belfiore was the pilot of this 
landing craft in the South Pacific, participating in seven 
assault landings. He received the Silver Star for Bravery.


The new Higgins Boat building is now complete. The Higgins boat is located in its final resting place. It has been a long journey for this WWII landing craft. It is one of the very few original Higgins boats (PA-36-7) still in existence. It was on the USS Cambria (APA-36) a Bayfield-Class attack transport used by the U.S. Navy during WWII. The Cambria was launched 10 November 1942 and was in the Pacific Theatre, participating in assault landings in the South Pacific, invasions of the Marshall Islands, Saipan, Tinian, Philippines, Leyte, Luzon, New Guinea and Okinawa.

Click to view larger

Click to view larger

This embattled flag was flying from the USS Gallup when our
invasion forces liberated the Philippines, October 17, 1944.
B/M 2/C Mike Pallos served on the USS Gallup during this
invasion and donated the flag to the Motts Military Museum.
This corn cob pipe belonged to General Douglas MacArthur.