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Two WAVES cleaning an SNJ training plane at NAS Jacksonville during World War II.

Join the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, the First Coast Section of the American Planning Association’s Florida Chapter and Ennis Davis of The Jaxson Magazine for an interactive conversation about Jacksonville’s military history.

From the Union Army occupation of Jacksonville during the Civil War by the U.S. Colored Troops, to Civil War veterans settling in LaVilla, to modern-day military operations at Mayport and NAS Jax, to the thousands of Jacksonville residents who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms, our city’s history is inextricably linked to the U.S. military. Join us for a tour from the earliest military encampments to today’s impact from military employment, our exploration of memorials and museums, and support for veteran-owned small businesses.

Learning objectives

  • Increasing appreciation for the rich military history of this region even before it was Jacksonville
  • Understanding the expansive role our military legacy has played in our migration patterns, our demographics, our development and growth
  • Appreciating the diversity of Jaxsons who have been involved


  • Jessie Ball duPont Fund and Ennis Davis of The Jaxson Magazine and APA Florida


  • Peter Thomas, PhD candidate in American History at Auburn University. Peter specializes in Civil War-era America and is currently working on a project with the National Park Service and Organization of American Historians analyzing the Civil War history of the Timucuan Ecological and Historical Preserve’s enslaved inhabitants.

  • Dee Quaranta, founder and CEO of Northeast Florida Women Veterans. Dee is a 20-year veteran of the Air Force who is now engaged in research and advocacy on behalf of our state’s women veterans.

  • Captain Robert “Bob” Whitkop, USN (Ret.), Commander General of the Naval Order of the United States.

This conversation is part of the Jacksonville History & Heritage series co-produced by the Jessie Ball duPont Fund and Ennis Davis of The Jaxson Magazine.


December 10, 2021 12:00 P.M. to 1:30 P.M. in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

This building was built to serve as the offices of the St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company during WWII. With the country involved in World War II and taking advantage of a $17 million United States Maritime Commission investment, East Bay Street’s Merrill-Stevens established the St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company in 1942 with an initial workforce of 258. This shipyard was located east of Hogans Creek and south of East Adams Street. Between 1942 and 1945, 82 liberty ships were produced at this site to transport troops and supplies across the globe. In 1944, it employed over 20,000 workers. When the war was over, so was production at St. Johns River Shipbuilding Company.

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