Miami Beach Hotels
|Miami Beach, Florida |
This site is located in the Southeast region of the state.
From I-95, use the I-395E exit to Miami Beach. You will cross the MacArthur Causeway (renamed in early 1942 to honor General Douglas MacArthur) and continue (becomes 5th Street) to Ocean Drive (dead end). Turn left (north) to view Miami Beach hotels.
This site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“The best hotel room is none too good for the American soldier.” With this comment, Under Secretary of War Robert P. Patterson in 1942 answered critics of his plan to use resort hotels for military training facilities. So it was that in February 1942, enlisted men and officer candidates arrived in Miami Beach for military training. Surprisingly, the hotel and apartment owners warmed to lease arrangements with the military. Fewer bookings, the result of government-imposed gas rationing and tar-stained beaches caused by U-boat destruction of Allied ships in the Atlantic, made soldiers attractive guests.
Resort hotels became mess halls, bachelor officers’ quarters and crowded army barracks over the course of the next year. Ultimately 300 hotels and apartment buildings became military facilities in service to nearly one half million US Army trainees during the war. The Miami Beach hotel rooms housed 78,000 soldiers at one time, with such notables as Clark Gable, Hank Greenberg, and Franklin Roosevelt, Jr. included in their numbers.
Located in an area roughly bounded by the Atlantic Ocean, Miami Beach Boulevard, Alton Road and Collins Canal, this novel approach to military provisioning began to wind down in the summer of 1943. It has been estimated that this immediate availability of facilities in Miami Beach saved the taxpayers $6 million in building costs.
As many as 200 of these structures remain in use and, in many instances, retain the WWII era name. On December 7, 1999, two historic markers were erected at the intersection of Ocean Drive and 10th Street to recognize the contributions of the servicemen and women and the City of Miami Beach to the successful outcome of World War II.
WWII Veterans Reunion and Pearl Harbor Memorial Ceremony each year on December 7, hosted by the Edison Hotel. Telephone 1-800-961-9076 or 305-531-2744
Memorial plaques at Ocean Drive and 10th Street, dedicated December 7, 1999, to recognize and honor the contributions of servicemen and women during World War II.
Source: Photograph courtesy of Dr. Judith Berson.