Like the rest of the country, Florida  was highly dependent on the military-industrial complex for its struggle back to prosperity after the Great Depression. As Florida’s agony was compounded by the effect of the real estate bust, it had a lot further to go to climb back than many of its other Southern neighbors. Thankfully, the state offered flat terrain and expansive stretches of coastline that were particularly conducive to the needs of the Air Force and the Navy’s aviation program. Several bases were established in Florida during this time, including Eglin Air Force Base (in the Panhandle), MacDill Air Force Base (in Tampa , currently the home of the U.S. Central Command) and the Naval Air Station Jacksonville  (which, incidentally, is near the site where a submarine manned by eight Nazi spies came ashore at Ponte Vedra Beach).
In the postwar years, Patrick Air Force Base and Cape Canaveral were chosen to be the site of the military’s missile-launch facilities, a development that quickly led to the initiation of the space race and the buildup of Cape Canaveral as the home of NASA.