Buckingham Army Air Field - Lehigh Acres, Florida, USA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BoomersOTR
N 26° 34.255 W 081° 41.667
17R E 430839 N 2939099
Quick Description: Buckingham Army Air Field/Flexible Gunnery School historical marker located in a county preserve.
Location: Florida, United States
Date Posted: 5/29/2020 5:36:27 AM
Waymark Code: WM12H8M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Markerman62
Views: 3

Long Description:
This historical marker is located in one of the remaining ground moving target range sites of the Buckingham Army Air Field's Flexible Gunnery School. This site has been preserved and is located in the Wild Turkey Strand Preserve and is easily viewed just off the walking trail.

Marker content is as follows:


A Slice of History

Three Conservation 20/20 acquisitions make up the more than 3,100-acre Wild Turkey Strand Preserve. All were purchased for the preservation of environmentally sensitive lands, high probability for protecting state and federally listed species, and their location in the Density Reduction Groundwater Resource (DRGR) area of the county. A combination of Conservation 20/20 Program and Florida Communities Trust grant funds were used for acquisition with remaining funds set aside fro restoration and management of natural resources in perpetuity. This northeastern portion of the preserve offers a glimpse of Lee County’s regional connection to World War II history.

The Evolution of Military Forces

The United States Armed Forces are the military forces for the United States. Before WWII began, there were four military forces - Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. The U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC) was a branch of the Army. In 1941, the USAAC became the U.S. Army Air Force, which transitioned into the U.S. Air Force as a separate branch of the military in 1947.

Temporary Training Base

Built in 1942, the Buckingham Army Air Field and Flexible Gunnery School cost $10 million. Nearly 7,000 acres were leased to the federal government for $1 a year by the City of Fort Myers and Lee County, while another nearly 40,000 acres were leased directly from landowners for firing ranges. Buildings were not constructed to last long, as the base was only intended for use during the war. When deactivated in 1945, some of the facilities served briefly as classrooms for Edison College. All building were removed in 1947 after being auctioned off to the public.

The airfield and gunnery school included runways and taxiways, a railway, rifle and small arms ranges, skeet and trap shooting ranges, ground moving target ranges, parachute/ditch training grounds and hundreds of buildings.

By the war’s end in 1945, more than 50,000 gunners had been trained at the Buckingham Flexible Gunnery School.
Marker Number: 0

Date: 0

County: Lee

Marker Type: Other

Sponsored or placed by: Lee County Parks and Recreation

Website: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
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