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

Floridians in Military Service: Navy & Marines
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In the months before the official American entry into the war, the U.S. Navy had begun patrolling the American coast and convoying Allied shipping in the Atlantic, while maintaining a wary eye on Japanese actions in the Pacific. With the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Navy found itself in a two-ocean war. In the Atlantic and European theaters, Navy vessels protected Allied ships against U-boats, including off the Florida coast, and conducted amphibious operations in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, and Normandy.

The Navy played an even greater role in the Pacific. In June 1942, aircraft carrier-based naval aviators won a decisive victory at Midway, which is considered the turning point in the war against Japan. Over the next three years, American naval strength increased dramatically. In addition to assisting in amphibious landings, the Navy largely eliminated the Japanese Imperial Navy. By 1945, U.S. ships were operating off the Japanese coast in preparation for an invasion of the Japanese main islands, that fortunately never took place. Over 4 million sailors, including many Floridians, served in the Navy, and nearly 40,000 were killed in action.

Marine Corps:

The United States Marine Corps, a separate service within the Department of the Navy, earned fame during the Pacific campaigns of World War II. Beginning with the defense of Wake Island in December 1941 and continuing with the bloody amphibious assaults on Guadalcanal, Bougainville, Tarawa, Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa, the Marines won the admiration of all Americans for their tenacity and "esprit de corps". Of 669,000 Marine who served during World War II, nearly 20,000 died.

Florida Remembers WWII
U.S. Marines gathered around the first American flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima -- In the center of the photograph is Monticello native Sergeant Ernest I. "Boots" Thomas, Jr. -- (Florida State Archives)
 U.S. Marines gathered around the first American flag on Mount Suribachi on Iwo Jima
In the center of the photograph is Monticello native Sergeant Ernest I. "Boots" Thomas, Jr.
(Florida State Archives)
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