Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

     Buckingham Army Airfield is a now inactive army airfield located in Florida approximately 10 miles from Fort Myers. It was in.service for 39 months during World War 2

    In 1941, A group of government officials from.Fort Myers and Lee County government purchased 7000 acres of predominantly swamp land in Lee County.  They leased the property to the U.S. War Department for a future Army Airfield.  The project was sold as job creator for the local economy. 

     The base project began in.February, 1942.  The airfield  was supervised by Captain Richard Duggan and Colonel Delmar Spivey.  The first part of the project consisted of digging of drainage canals, building roads and erecting buildings.  By August, 1942 500 buildings were underway.   In 1943, col Spivey was replaced by Colonel Jenkins

   Initially, three concrete runways were in place; this was expanded to six

     The main mission of Buckingham Army Airfield was to train aerial gunners for B 17, B 24 and B 26 bombers.  This was accomplished in their 5 to 6 week flexible gun school. Over the 39 months that the school was active over 50,000 students were trained.

     Buckingham Army Airfield was responsible for the Naples Airfield and two crash boat bases ( one on Marco Island and the second on the Caloosahatchee Rover near the Gulf of Mexico.

     In 1945, after the end of War World 2, the airfield was scheduled to close.   This was not a total surprise.  It was always scheduled to be temporary.  It is estimated that 126 million was spent during the 39 months the base was in operation.   For a short period the barracks were used by Edison State College.    However the college pulled out in 1948.  Most of the original base buildings were removed.

     In the 1950’s, the land that was BAAF was acquired by Lee Ratner.  Working with Gerard Gould, he proposed the community of Lehigh Acres.  A street grid was laid out of quarter and half acre plots for housing. Strips of land along major thoroughfares WA set aside for commerce.

     

Buckingham Army Airfield from above

BAAB Barracks

Buckingham Army Airfield

Memorial Markers Page Field and Buckingham Army Airfield in Centennial Park, Fort Myers

Memorial Plaque Buckingham Army Airfield Centennial Park, Fort Myers

This is a nature preserve that contains land from the former Buckingham Army Airfield

Informational sign in Buckingham Trails Preserve

Informational Sign

Trail Buckingham Trail Preserve

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Tortoise

Trail Map

This building was made of solid poured concrete 2 small holes covered with screens were likely for ventilation. The building is likely a storage facility connected to Buckingham Army Airfield small arms carbine range. This building is located in Wild Turkey Strand Preserve

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Large concrete blocks are discarded gun turret bases from Buckingham Army Airbase They are located in Wild Turkey Strand Preserve

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Historical marker Sunset Rd and Gunnery Road N

Aerial Map Of Buckingham Field  portions of the Parking Ramp and Runways are from the old airway

Signage for old Army Airfield  Gunnery Boil and Sunset Road

Picture of old army airfield  Gunnery Boulevard and Sunset Road

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Picture of airfield

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Picture of old army airfield

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