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Florida, A Floating Fortress

A new book recalls how World War II forever changed the Sunshine State.

When millions of Americans were drafted to serve in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, most were leaving their homes in cities, in small towns and on farms for the first time. Their destiny was to participate in a worldwide conflict, the magnitude of which had never before been seen. The majority of them would return home, though more than 290,000 would not. But before most of them embarked on the greatest adventure of their lives, they came to Florida.

During the buildup and through the end of World War II, over a million soldiers, sailors, airmen, shipbuilders, laborers and volunteers called Florida their temporary home. The vital role the state played in the war, and the consequences that were felt long after, are detailed in a new book by historians Nick Wynne and Richard Moorhead: Florida in World War II – Floating Fortress.

Read the entire article in the September-October 2010 issue