Tampa in Hillsborough County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
The War Years
WWII Makes the Army Air Forces and MacDill Grow Up Fast
German POWs Held at MacDill Field
During the last year of World War II, MacDill was home to about 500 Nazi prisoners of war. The prisoners worked in the kitchen, in the laundry room, and as automotive mechanics. Throughout the war, over 10.000 German POWs were quietly housed in 27 different military facilities in the state of Florida.
One a Day in Tampa Bay!
The Martin B-26 Marauder was the first American bomber in the Pacific and one of the most celebrated Allied aircraft. It was small, fast, and carried a large payload of bombs. Because the B-26 demanded skillful piloting, MacDill experienced an unusually large number of take-off crashes, thus earning the plane nicknames such as "The Widowmaker" and "One a Day in Tampa Bay." Despite its reputation, the B-26 actually had the lowest combat loss ratio of any WWII aircraft.
Hollywood Shoots at MacDill
WACs Unit at MacDill in '43
A large contingent of the newly created Women's Air Corps was stationed at MacDill. The WACs were the first women other than nurses to serve within the ranks of the United States Army.
Lisbon Avenue, Vera Avenue, Southeast Air Base
MacDill Avenue, Dale Mabry Highway, MacDill AFB
Tampa's Other World War II Airfields
1942: Drew Field → Today: Tampa International Airport
1942: Hillsborough Army Air Field → Today: Busch Gardens
Location. 27° 56.722′ N, 82° 27.521′ W. Marker is in Tampa, Florida, in Hillsborough County. Marker is on North Ashley Drive north of East Whiting Street, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. The marker is installed at MacDill Park on the Riverwalk, in downtown Tampa. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 North Ashley Drive, Tampa FL 33602, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. History in the Air (here, next to this marker); Tampa Goes to War In the Beginning... (a few steps from this marker); Tampa Salutes MacDill AFB (a few steps from this marker); Today at MacDill AFB (within shouting distance of this marker); Technology • Power • Diversity (within shouting distance of this marker); Tampa Bay and MacDill (within shouting distance of this marker); MacDill: 1950 to 2000 (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tampa.
More about this marker. The marker is one of several located in the park. It is along the sidewalk, facing the street.
Regarding The War Years. Hillsborough Army Air Field was later named Henderson Air Field, prior to its being closed. Sections of its runways remained largely intact for several decades, and allegedly were used for drag-racing by local youth in the 50's. The last remaining structure from the old airfield has since 1973 housed Mel's Hot Dogs, a popular local eatery.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . . Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Florida, Northern Tampa area. Website with several aerial and other photos of the Hillsborough/Henderson Army Air Field (Submitted on August 7, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida.)
Categories. • Military • War, World II •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 7, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. This page has been viewed 794 times since then and 40 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on August 7, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. 4. submitted on August 8, 2010, by Glenn Sheffield of Tampa, Florida. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.