Buckingham Army Air Field

Buckingham Army Air Field (HM2CXO)

Location: Lehigh Acres, FL 33971 Lee County
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Country: United States of America
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N 26° 38.256', W 81° 43.034'

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1942-1945

Early in 1942, the United States Government leased 6,500 acres of mostly brush, palmetto trees, and in some places pine stumps left from previous logging operations, to establish a flexible gunnery training school on this site. Construction of the training center began in February 1942. By June, 1,200 men were working 10 hours a day to have the field ready for operations. The field was formally activated on July 5, 1942. Classes began on September 7, 1942, even though field construction was far from complete. At the peak of its operation, the field was home of 16,000 people and consisted of almost 100 buildings.

Initially, bomber gunners went through a five-week training program. They were trained to maintain, disassemble and effectively fire .30 and .50 caliber machine guns. These guns were used to defend bomber aircraft such as the B-17, B-24 and B-29 from enemy fighter planes. Both trap and skeet shooting ranges were used to develop aiming skills. Students were also trained on the moving target range riding in Jeeps, simulator training and in the final week air to air gunnery shooting at targets towed by aircraft.

Various aircraft were used to perform the training mission at the field. They included the AT-6, AT-18, RB-34, P-39, P-63, B-17, B-24 and B-29.

The field was closed on September 30, 1945.



Fifty thousand gunners had graduated from the program. In addition, the field had trained co-pilots for the B-17, B-24 and B-29 bombers. The field made a significant contribution to victory in World War II.
Details
HM NumberHM2CXO
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, December 20th, 2018 at 1:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17R E 428611 N 2946497
Decimal Degrees26.63760000, -81.71723333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 26° 38.256', W 81° 43.034'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds26° 38' 15.36" N, 81° 43' 2.0399999999999" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)239
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1776 Gunnery Rd N, Lehigh Acres FL 33971, US
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