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: Army Air Force
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In June 1941, the Army Air Corps and the Air Force Combat Command were reorganized and renamed the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF), which remained officially part of the Army throughout World War II. It was not until 1947 that am independent Air Force was established.

Numerous Floridians served in the USAAF, and nearly one-fourth of all the personnel in the USAAF had trained in Miami Beach during the war. Many others had been stationed at one of the Army Air Force bases that dotted the state.

B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators of the 8th, 12th, and 15th Air Forces began daylight precision bombing of targets in German-occupied Europe in 1942. Initially, American squadrons suffered heavy casualties due to German anti-aircraft and fighter defenses, and the lack of escort fighters that could accompany the bombers. Eventually, the P-51 Mustang was adopted as the main bomber escort, and losses dropped dramatically.

During the last eighteen months of the war, American bombers pounded German industrial and transportation targets, as well as enemy cities.

In the Pacific, Army Air Force planes, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle, conducted the first offensive operation of the war in April 1942 with a dramatic bombing raid on Tokyo. Following specialized training in Florida, Doolittle launched his B-52 bombers from the aircraft carrier Hornet.

USAAF bombers and fighters took part in most of the major campaigns in the Pacific theater. In early 1945, B-29 bombers devastated Japanese cities in a series of fire bomb raids, which ended in the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August.

Florida Remembers WWII
Martin B-26 Marauder at Dale Mabry Field in Tallahassee, ca. 1943 -- (Florida State Archives)
 Martin B-26 Marauder at Dale Mabry Field in Tallahassee, ca. 1943
(Florida State Archives)
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