Campground at a reenactment of the Battle of Olustee.


Military History in Florida

By Lauren Tjaden

Florida boasts a fascinating military history, one that includes U-Boats, spies and bomber planes that mysteriously vanished into thin air, never to be seen again.

An example? Visit Jacksonville Beach today and you’re likely to see some people playing on the waves, while others hang out on the pier or kick back on the sand. The scene wasn't dramatically different on a sultry evening in 1942. Folks felt protected and far away from the war that raged in Europe.

That is, until they heard an explosion. It was a U-Boat, a German submarine that bombed and ultimately sunk the Gulfamerica – an 8,000-ton steam tanker on its maiden voyage from Port Arthur, Texas, to New York City – just miles offshore.  

Check out these articles to discover more of the story, as well as other riveting tales of Florida’s military past.

Florida’s World War II U-Boat War

Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base During World War II

Florida’s World War II Saboteurs

Famous Florida Resorts Served Soldiers in Time of War

The Lost Patrol: Mystery Flight from Fort Lauderdale

Discover the Seminole Trail at Fort Cooper State Park

Spirit of the Seminole

History Unfolds On Baker County’s Olustee Battlefield

World War II Museums in Florida

Military Museums in Florida

Places to remember

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