During World War II, nearly 50,000 soldiers earned their wings as aerial gunners at the Buckingham Army Air Field's (BAAF) Flexible Gunnery School. As one of only six gunnery schools in the United States, BAAF was in operation from 1942 until the end of the war in 1945. At the ranges once located near here, south of State Road 82, trainees were taught the skills needed to protect American bomber planes from enemy attack. Soldiers first learned how to shoot at moving targets from a moving platform. Enclosed in a spinning turret mounted to a truck, the men fired machine guns at unmanned jeeps carrying large white cloth targets that drove along a track inside the range. After ground training, the soldiers practiced firing from aircraft at targets towed by other aircraft. This training provided the soldiers with the skills and knowledge needed to man the many turret and window machine guns on B-17 and B-24 bombers, and successfully defend those bombers in both Europe and the Pacific. These gunnery ranges were an important part of the Buckingham Army Air Field and Florida's role in training the military personnel who served protecting our nation.