Florida was an active training ground for the United States’ military. By December 7, 1941, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States officially entered the war, more than 170 military installations were established in Florida. After the war in 1945, many surviving service members who had been stationed in Florida prior to active duty returned to settle here. The state’s population grew more than 46% during the 1940s and even more in the 50s as a likely result of the war-time military postings.
In addition to the hundreds of thousands of servicemen and servicewomen who came to Florida from other states to train and serve, over 248,000 Floridians, including more than 50,000 African Americans, volunteered or were drafted into the military. Over 4,600 Floridians lost their lives while in service during World War II. Today the United States is losing its World War II veterans at the rate of approximately 900 per day and time is of the essence to honor these heroes.
Explore the state and the incredible sites that tell the story of ordinary Floridians doing extraordinary things for their country during World War II.
As Florida pauses to mark 70 years since the end of World War II, many leaders have stood up to recognize this significant moment with official awards and recognitions.
Honor the sacrifice of Florida's WWII veterans and learn about the history of Florida in the war by visiting a site or memorial to Florida's role in WWII.
Viva Florida partners have created a number of useful online resources for teachers as well as students of all ages. Explore more through these helpful resources.
Access resources available from the Florida Department of State for Victory Florida partners.