Historic Markers Across Florida

World War II 1939-1945

Marker ID:  
Location: in Veterans Memorial Park along the waterfront, Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 48.923    W 081° 16.074
  28.81538333    -81.2679
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMQ6KE


World War II began in September 1939 when Germany, under Adolph Hitler, invaded Poland, England and France declared war on Germany. Italy, led by Benito Mussolini, allied with Germany and most of Europe quickly came under the control of invading German troops. The Germans were unable to invade England because of the English Channel and England's superiority in the air. The United States entered the war after the Japanese attacked the US Navy fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. Japan, under Emperor Hirohito, had been expanding its empire since 1931 with an invasion of China. The United States sent forces to Europe and the Pacific. On June 6, 1944, American and British forces landed in Normandy, France and began to reclaim Europe. Germany surrendered on May 8, 1945. The Japanese did not surrender until August 14, 1945 after atomic bombs were dropped in the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. 418,500 Americans died in World War II.

National Guard Lt. Gen. Joseph C. Hutchinson of Sanford accepted the surrender of Mindanao from Japanese Lt. Gen. Gyosaku Morozumi on September 8, 1945. Gen. Hutchinson was the commander of the 62nd Infantry of the 31st Division of the US Army in the South Pacific during World War II.

Naval Air Station Sanford opened in November 1942 as an auxiliary training base for US Navy carrier pilots. The station had four 6,000 foot runways and more that 2,000 Navy and civilian personnel. About half of all pilots in the South Pacific during World War II received some training in Sanford. The first aircraft to arrive at the station were 34 PV1 Ventura bombers. The Orlando-Sanford International Airport now occupies the site of NAS Sanford.

The Sanford Chamber of Commerce building on East First Street was built for the USO during World War II. The building was dedicated in July 1943.

City of Sanford