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American flamingos in South Florida, See also: Frost Art Museum and Wolfsonian-FIU, See also: Operation Peter Pan and Freedom Flights. . By the early 1940s Miami was still recovering from the Great Depression when World War II started Though many of the cities in Florida were heavily affected by the war and went into financial ruin Miami remained relatively unaffected Early in the war German U-boats attacked several American ships including the Portero del Llano which was attacked and sunk within sight of Miami Beach in May 1942 to defend against the U-boats Miami was placed in two military districts the Eastern Defense Command and the Seventh Naval District. 6.5.2 Central and Southern Florida Flood Control Project.