Florida, August 1943

It appears that on his days off, Joel played the tourist or he bounced back and forth between training sites.

He visited multiple places in Florida and left us a few slides behind so we can piece some of it back together.

On Sunday August 8, 1943, Joel is in Lakeland, Florida. All we have with certainty is the Kodachrome below. There are quite a few undocumented images in this stack, all clearly in Florida based on scenery or subject.

Lakeland Florida, August 8, 1943

One week later Joel visits Sulphur Springs, North of Tampa, and Tarpon Springs, North of Clearwater.

Sulphur Springs, August 15, 1943

And we are no longer surprised to see Joel take photographs of flowers and boats in a harbor.

Tarpon Springs, Florida, August 15, 1943.

Slides have numbers 14 and 19 stamped in them, so there were definitely more. The slides I was able to purchase and scan, are not “perfect” Kodachromes, so these may all be rejects that Joel didn’t toss at the time.

Next proof of Florida presence comes with four slides taken in Sarasota on Wednesday, August 25, 1943.

Sarasota, Florida, August 25, 1943
Sarasota, Florida, August 25, 1943

Above slides are stamped consecutive 8 and 9 and are clearly from the same building.

Ringlings Museum, Sarasota, Florida, August 25, 1943

The Ringlings Museum would only open in 1947, for a history of this museum, see the link at the bottom of this blogpost.

Sarasota, Florida, August 25, 1943

There were quite a few other Kodachrome slides in this stack without any way of placing them in location or time.

Joel with staged images for history.

Joel and well fed alligators, Florida, 1943
Joel in gear, training camp, Florida 1943
Joel in gear, training camp, Florida 1943
Joel in gear, training camp, Florida 1943
Joel in gear, training camp, Florida 1943

And few more random 1943 Florida slides to close off. The last few slides don’t have numbers stamped in the cardboard frames. Joel might have used a different processing center since he was in Florida.

Florida, 1943
Boats, Florida, 1943
Florida, 1943
Boat and fisherman, Florida, 1943
Sunset, Florida, 1943
Sunset, Florida, 1943

Joel would leave behind quite a few images of sunsets throughout his career. The above ones are slightly underexposed. I just couldn’t resist showing them as Joel found it important to capture this moment.

Unframed, end-of-slide film, Florida, 1943

Joel kept everything in boxes, and that includes in some cases the ends of the film with half an image on it. See above.

I’ve included a Florida map below, incorporating all the locations mentioned above. Florida had some 170 military facilities during WWII, up from 8. So, it shouldn’t be a major surprise that many of our WWII vets passed through Florida at one or other point in their journey.

Florida map for location illustraion

Camp Murphy, a Signal Corps training center, similar to Camp Kohler in California, was in Martin County, NW of Jupiter.

Civilian contractors trained some 14,000 cadet pilots, including many of Great Britain, at Lakeland (and Avon Park) from 1940 to 1945.

Tampa had the Drew and MacDill airfields with Army Airfields at Sarasota and many other locations. These are all locations Joel visited or trained at.

We’ll track more of Joel’s WWII whereabouts when the materials present themselves in future blogposts.

Cheers !


Learn more about the Ringling Museum history


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