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World War II

Naval History and Heritage Command / USDoN

A memorial inscribed with the names of 520 Hillsborough County residents killed during World War II will be dedicated Dec. 7, 2017 as part of a Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremony. It's the 76th anniversary of the Japanese surprise attack that marked the United States official entry into the war.

Largo High School senior Konner Ross was one of 15 students selected for “The Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute silent hero project.” Fifteen teams of high school students and their teachers from around the country researched a soldier, sailor or airman from their home state, who is buried in Normandy.

Aimee Blodgett / USF

John F. Germany was remembered by a crowd of about 600 people at his funeral at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tampa Saturday.

The lawyer, judge and co-founder of the University of South Florida died last Wednesday at the age of 92.

The day before his funeral, university officials announced that the school had renamed a park just south of the USF Library as the "John F. Germany Legacy Park."

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

This week, the Tampa Bay region lost one of its more notable World War II veterans, retired Judge John Germany. He served as an Army tank commander at age 22 and helped liberate a concentration camp on the German-Austrian border before being sent to the Pacific theater.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. And, the Florida Department of State is commemorating the end of the war effort this week with a campaign called “Victory Florida.”

In secret chemical weapons experiments conducted during World War II, the U.S. military exposed thousands of American troops to mustard gas.

When those experiments were formally declassified in the 1990s, the Department of Veterans Affairs made two promises: to locate about 4,000 men who were used in the most extreme tests, and to compensate those who had permanent injuries.

But the VA didn't uphold those promises, an NPR investigation has found.

Soviet Veteran on Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.

Apr 22, 2015
Photo Courtesy of Russian-American Community Center of Florida

It's been almost 70 years since the end of World War II. 

Thinking back on the war holds many memories for Alex Farfel, 85, who on Tuesday joined a group of 80 other World War II veterans at St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport for a special trip.  

Honor Flight West Central Florida regularly takes veterans on an all-expenses-paid, one-day flight to Washington, D.C. 

The veterans visited Arlington National Cemetery and memorials built to honor their service during the war.

Quincy Walters

Paul Workman worries that this old war bird’s time may be running out.

As mechanic and flight engineer for the B-17 Flying Fortress, he knows what it means when the fuselage of the World War II bomber creaks and whines as it taxis the Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport's runway.

“We honestly don’t know how long we’re going to be able to do this—given the cost, given the changing the regulations,” he said during a recent visit.

Designed by Boeing for the U.S. Army, the B-17 was the flagship bomber of WWII in the European theater. 

Lucielle Salomon

It's hard for us to imagine having a hostile military presence sitting off the coast of Florida. While it may sound like something out of a spy novel, within the lifetimes of many Floridians this scenario was very real.

This is one the lessons contained in an exhibit called"Operation Drumbeat: Nazi Threat in the Gulf" now on display at the Tampa Bay History Center.

"It focuses on the part of World War II that people don't really think about and that was the war on this side of the Atlantic."

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

This Friday will mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the historic military landing at Normandy during World War II. 

This week on Florida Matters, we'll take a look at D-Day through the eyes of a C-47 pilot who was there.  First Lt. Gerald “Bud” Berry was among those who flew paratroopers behind enemy lines in the hours before the beach invasion.