Introduction Training Florida Home Front Floridian Service Impact on Florida
Florida on the Eve of War
Pearl Harbor and its Impact
Military Training in Florida
Aviation
Land Warfare
Amphibious
WAAC Training at Daytona Beach
The German Submarine Threat
Civil Defense & Patrols
Rationing & Government Effort
Scrap, Gardens & Kids' Activities
War Bonds & Women's Roles
Homegrown Armor: The Alligator
National Guard & State Guard
United States Army
Navy & Marines
Coast Guard
Army Air Force
Women on Duty
African Americans
War Heroes
War's Impact on Florida
Citrus Goes to War
Industry and War Products
Tourism During the War Years
The War Ends
How WWII Changed the State

Military Training in Florida
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Florida's strategic location made the state vital for national defense. Planes and ships from Florida's bases helped protect the sea lanes in the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean. The state was thus viewed as an important first line of defense for the southern United States, the Caribbean Basin, and the Panama Canal.

During the war years, military installations in Florida increased from eight to more than 170. For the Army, Camp Blanding near Starke became one of the largest training bases in the southeastern United States, while Camp Gordon Johnston at Carrabelle served as a major amphibious training center.

Army Air Force bases included Valparaiso's Eglin Field, Drew and MacDill airfields at Tampa, Dale Mabry Field at Tallahassee, Buckingham and Page Airfields at Fort Myers, Panama City's Tyndall Army Airfield, and Army Airfields at Avon Park, Boca Raton, Homestead, Sarasota, and Venice.

Civilian contractors trained 14,000 cadet pilots, including many from Great Britain, at Lakeland and Avon Park from 1940 to 1945.

Major naval bases or naval air stations were established or expanded at Daytona Beach, Deland, Fort Lauderdale, Green Cove Springs, Jacksonville, Key West, Melbourne, Miami, Pensacola, Richmond, Sanford, and Vero Beach. At Fort Pierce, some 150,000 Navy, Marine Corps, and Army personnel passed through the amphibious training. Even the Coast Guard and its female auxiliary, the SPARS, established a training center in St. Augustine.

Florida Remembers WWII
Thompson submachine gun training at Fort Pierce Amphibious Training Base -- (UDT-SEAL Museum)
 Thompson submachine gun training at Fort Pierce Amphibious Training Base
(UDT-SEAL Museum)
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