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Distinguished Speaker Series | Fred Borch: Key West in WWII

19-December from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM

Military historian Fred Borch will talk about Key West’s role during World War II. When the war began, the Navy in Key West occupied just 50 acres on the edge of the island. By 1945, Navy operations sprawled across more than 3,200 acres. The Navy spent $70 million in building Key West into what some called “America’s Gibraltar” (after the British outpost in the Mediterranean), and more than 14,000 ships passed through Key West’s Harbor between 1942 and 1945. The Army also had hundreds of soldiers stationed in Key West. Finally, the population of Key West doubled and sometimes tripled the prewar population during this period. Come hear about this dizzying and incredible time in the history of Key West. 

About the Presenter: 

Fred Borch is the Regimental Historian and Archivist for the Army Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He served 25 years as an Army lawyer before retiring from active duty in 2005. The following year, he returned to the Army as a civilian and today is the only full-time military legal historian in the U.S. government. Fred has history degrees from Davidson College and the University of Virginia, law degrees from the University of North Carolina, University of Brussels (Belgium) and The Judge Advocate General’s School. He also has an M.A. from the Naval War College. 


Key West Art & Historical Society


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