Monday, September 14, 2015

Jerry Meyer and Higgins

Seward Kiwanis member, Col. Gerald “Jerry” Meyer presented the program on Andrew Jackson  Higgins this noon. Col. Meyer and his wife have been residents of Seward for a couple years where he is in charge of the conversion of the 1956 National Guard Armory into the Nebraska National Guard Museum. It is coming along on schedule with next 4th of July the anticipated opening date. Col. Meyers was a school teacher in Columbus, NE some years ago when he and his students provided leadership for the 5 million dollar Higgins Memorial in that city. Higgins was an industrialist who conceived and built the troop landing craft that General Eisenhower has said  “won the war”.  Jerry has known the Higgins family since his early teaching days in Columbus. Some of Higgins early experience in building boats for use on the Platte River helped him understand low draft construction. He continued to expand the concept as he harvested timber in the swamps around New Orleans. The Higgins landing crafts were built by several companies during WWII which produced over 20,000 of them in 7 years. They were used throughout the war and were a key part of the strategy of allied forces at Normandy. We are pleased to have Jerry and his wife here in Seward and are confident that The Nebraska National Guard Museum will make Seward a “destination point” for many visitors. 

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