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: The War Ends
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By 1944, the war had turned in favor of the Allies. Continued advances in the Pacific, the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe in June, and the Soviet forces that were sweeping through eastern Europe confirmed this fact. In the November 1944 state elections, Democrat Millard Caldwell won the governorship. In his opening address to the legislature in April 1945, he emphasized postwar development and economic issues, indicating that many Floridians were already looking forward to the end of the war and to the state's role in the postwar era. The spring of 1945 brought the death of Franklin Roosevelt and also the surrender of Nazi Germany. Floridians joined the country in celebrating V-E (Victory in Europe) Day on May 8, 1945.

Still, Floridians knew that Japan remained to be defeated. Fears of a costly Allied invasion of the Japanese home islands proved unfounded. Shortly after the explosion of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, Japan agreed to surrender terms. Floridian pilot Paul W. Tibbetts piloted the B-29 Enola Gay, which dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. "Peace Comes to the World," announced the Florida Times Union on V-J (Victory over Japan) Day August 15, 1945. The Fort Lauderdale News and Evening Sentinel reported the city "a Bedlam as Happy Crowds Celebrate Victory over Nipponese." Another round of celebrations swept the state after the formal Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945. Over the following months, servicemen and servicewomen returned home, many military bases were deactivated, and Floridians could reflect on their wartime achievements while looking forward to postwar prosperity.

Florida Remembers WWII
Soldiers outside of the St. Petersburg Times reading about the end of the war -- (St. Petersburg Museum of History)
 Soldiers outside of the St. Petersburg Times reading about the end of the war
(St. Petersburg Museum of History)
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