Along with designing the well-known LCVP, Higgins Industries also saw to the design and construction of the LCM (Landing Craft, Mechanized), a boat capable of carrying a medium tank.
Work began on the LCM in May of 1941, and a prototype was delivered a year later. 486 LCMs were used during Operation Overlord. 11,392 LCMs were constructed during World War II.
The two LCMs used for Saving Private Ryan (standing in for the proper British LCAs) were originally found at the Boston Boatyard in Oreston, Plymouth, England. The aging landing craft required numerous modifications by James Wakefield to better approximate their proper World War II era appearance.
The LCMs were designated as PA30-10 and PA30-11, numbers which indicate that these landing craft were from U.S.S. Thomas Jefferson (APA-30). Although Thomas Jefferson did participate in Operation Overlord, the 2nd Ranger units on D-Day were actually transported aboard H.M.S. Prince Charles, H.M.S. Ben Machree and H.M.S. Amsterdam, which explains why they went to shore in British LCAs and not American LCVPs.