When driving by Hernando County Airport in Brooksville you may have never known that it was once the site of the Brooksville Army Airfield during World War II. In 1942 the 1st Bomb Squardron arrived and the 9th Bombardment Group trained on B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberators. Designated an auxiliary base to Drew Field in Tampa, the crews from Brooksville regularly made practice runs to Avon Park Bombing Range and Osprey Bombing Range. A tactical bombing school operated under the direction of Orlando Air Base was also present. After the war it became Hernando County Airport in 1945.
Today you can find some remnants still there from that time such as this concrete bunker. These are known as Boresight Ranges and it was used as a firing target, that is how they tested and aligned the machine guns on the bombers. If you look closely at the structure you can still see the bullet holes. There are concrete tubes on top of the bunker, they filled up the bunker with sand through those. The piles of wood still laying inside the bunker combined with the sand were there to help stop the bullets.
There is a lot of World War II history throughout Florida and this is one of the fascinating sites you can still see in Hernando County. To access the area pull into the airport from Spring Hill Drive by Aviation Loop and you will see a large hill by the entrance that is where the bunker area is.
The Brooksville Army Airfield WWII Bunker in Hernando County
Old WWII Bunker in Hernando County
2 thoughts on “Roadside History: WWII Brooksfield Army Airfield Bunker in Hernando County”
Thanks for sharing the information about the old bunker, Joe. I found it while trying to figure out why so many men listed their occupation as “Army” on the 1945 Florida Census for Citrus County. The Hernando Airport area is 30 miles away so I don’t think this is the reason. However, your link to the Museum of Florida History may provide the clues. Enjoy the trails.
I am researching my uncle SGT Donald MacGillivray’s death on 07 January 1944, possibly at Brooksville. I have heard that he was caught in an airplane propeller. I have found his burial place at Ft Rosecrans Nat’l Cemetery near San Diego California. I would really like any information about him, especially a photo. He was with the 1st Bombardment, 9th Bombardment Group(?) Army Air Corp Forces. If you don’t have this, is it possible you know who I could contact? I gratefully appreciate any information you may have.