Florida in World War II

The United States’ entry into the Second World War touched off a transformative period in Florida’s history. Over a quarter million Floridians, including men and women of all races, joined the fight against the Axis Powers. Of these brave individuals, over 3,500 would give their lives in defense of their country.

The war changed the lives of Floridians as well as the state itself. Wartime necessities accelerated Florida’s economic growth and brought millions of federal dollars into the state to support military installations and war-related industries. The state’s population increased by 46 percent in the 1940s, a change fueled by the arrival of former servicemen and their families who had visited Florida during the war and liked it so much they returned for good.

This exhibit highlights the experience of Florida and Floridians during World War II using photographs, documents and film from the holdings of the State Library & Archives of Florida for illustration. The documents and media displayed here represent only a fraction of the many World War II-related resources available on Florida Memory and in the collections of the State Library & Archives.