During the 1940’s, pilots prepared for a secret mission to strike back at Japan after Pearl Harbor; Soldiers perished in swamps while crawling through the mud with snakes in the brush with bullets flying overhead; This all happened in Florida. More than 200 military camps and airfields covered the state during World War II. With year-round weather conditions ideal for training, the state was an attractive spot for more than a million soldiers and tens of thousands of pilots preparing for war. In a three part special, Producer Mike Licquia looks back at Florida’s experience as the nation recognizes the 70th anniversary since the end World War II.

Watch Part 2: Florida Remembers – World War II – The Civilian Contribution

Watch Part 3: Florida Remembers – World War II – The Enemy Comes to Florida

Camp Blanding Camp Gordon Johnston Clinton Westberry David Ogden Greg Parsons Harry Boswell Hill Goodspeed Irv Rubin Kurt Piehler Mel Johnson museums National Naval Aviation Museum Nick Wynne Robert Kane Seymore Saffer Sidney Williams US Military/Veterans Vivian Hess William Faust William Whipp WWII - World War II