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

War's Impact on Florida: Shipbuilding, Defense Industry, and War Products
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World War II presented economic opportunities for Floridians who had suffered through the depression of the 1930s. Wages improved and jobs became plentiful due to the large number of men in service. Women, African Americans, and Hispanics moved into jobs previously dominated by white males. "Rosie the Riveter" became a symbol for the six million American women who entered the work place for the first time. Women worked in more traditional secretarial roles, as well as at jobs in shipyards, aircraft plants, and other heavy industries, proving they had the ability to perform well in many jobs previously reserved for men. Black Americans, meanwhile, worked for victory overseas against fascism as well as at home against racial prejudice.

Florida's industrial output grew during the war, particularly in the area of shipbuilding, and manufacture of war-related equipment and supplies. Liberty ships, patrol torpedo boats, aircraft rescue boats, minesweepers, landing craft, assault boats, and other vessels were built within the state.

Florida shipyards included the Tampa Shipbuilding and Engineering Company (later known as TASCO), the Hooker's Point Shipyard in Tampa, the Wainwright Shipyard in Panama City, the St. Johns River Shipyard Company, the Miami Shipbuilding Corporation, the Pensacola Shipyard and Engineering Company, a shipbuilding company in Orlando, and other smaller firms. "Alligator" amphibious vehicles also were designed and produced at Dunedin.

In addition to shipbuilding and other wartime industries such as armament production, the first commercial oil field in Florida, the Sunniland Field in Collier County, began operations in 1943.

Florida Remembers WWII
Workers and sailors gather at a Tampa shipyard, July 7, 1944 -- (Florida State Archives)
 Workers and sailors gather at a Tampa shipyard, July 7, 1944
(Florida State Archives)
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