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Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield was a flexible gunnery training base, used to train gunners who would defend bombers. Training was conducted in both air-to-air & air-to-surface gunnery. The air-to-air training used a variety of aircraft, including T-6, RP-63, B-17, and B-24s. It was constructed in 1942 at a cost of 10 million dollars. It encompassed a total of 7,000 acres and had a series of canals constructed on it to drain the swamp land. During its peak the base had 6 runways, housed over 16,000 men and women, contained approximately 700 buildings and graduated over 48,000 aerial gunners. The base was closed on September 30, 1945.

For a brief time the barracks of Buckingham Air Field were used as the classrooms for Edison College. Edison moved out in 1948. In 1968, the Lee County Mosquito Control District (LCMCD) moved its’ operations from Canal Street in Fort Myers to the Buckingham Army Air Field in Lehigh Acres. LCMCD operated a fleet of 23 aircraft & helicopters (including C-47s & several rare C-117 Super Dakotas). The six runways were gone along with almost all of the buildings. The site had shrunk to approximately 250 acres. There remains one, original building from the base on the property. The airport is often referred to on aeronautical maps as Lehigh West Airport. It is operated as a private field and called FL59 - Buckingham Field Airport by LCMCD.

On July 5, 2002 the Fort Myers Historical Museum; Experimental Aircraft Association, Florida Warbirds, Squadron 24; Lee County Board of Commissioners; Leadership Lee County and LCMCD celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Buckingham Army Air Field. The Anniversary was celebrated to set aside time to remember those civilian and military personnel who worked, served and trained at the base. A historical marker commemorating the former Buckingham Army Air Field was erected at the intersection of Gunnery Boulevard and Sunset Road.

Buckingham Army Airfield

I first visited Lee High Acres Mosquito Control back in April 1990 and noted 4x DC-3 wrecks and 6x operational DC-3s, which included a single Super DC-3 (C-117D model). Prior to my visit (in 2010) I had contacted the company and asked for a ramp tour…which was kindly agreed. During my visit I noted several airworthy Bell Jet ranger 3 and UH-1B Huey sprayer on standby. Five piston-engine DC-3s were still on standby status. Behind the fence I noticed two DC-3 wrecks and a stored example, while inside the maintenance hanger LCMCD was putting the final touches of their new flagship turbine DC-3, which was sourced from Dodson International.

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

For the full history see also this site: http://members.tripod.com/airfields_freeman/FL/Airfields_FL_FtMyers.htm#buckingham
Also Mosquito Control District Website http://www.lcmcd.org/



Opa Locka Executive Airport (OPF), FloridaM

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield logo   Buckingham Army Airfield logo

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield

Buckingham Army Airfield logo   Buckingham Army Airfield logo

Buckingham Army Airfield

Historical Flight Foundation, Inc. http://sites.google.com/site/historicalflightfoundation/
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