UXO Site selected: Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range, FL

General Area: Ocala, FL

Site Type/Program: FUDS

Location: The former Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range consisted of 40,587 acres located 22 miles east of Ocala, Florida, Marion County.

Brief History: The War Department (WD) acquired 40,587 acres for the former Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range in the early 1940’s. On 27 June 1941, the WD acquired use of 23,167 acres for an Army bombing and gunnery range by means of a temporary use permit from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). By two Memoranda of Understanding with the USDA, the Army acquired more land in the same area: 3,354 acres by transfer and another 14,066 acres by conveyance bringing the total to 40,587 by 11 January 1943. During World War II, the Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range was utilized by the United States Armed Forces Command and was under the jurisdiction of Pinecastle Army Air Field and the Orlando Army Air Base. The site was also known as the Ocala Bombing Range, the Ocala Bombing and Gunnery Range, and Ocala Aerial Bombing and Gunnery Range, and Ocala Range. The site was used for practice bombing (including the use of HE/GP bombs), AAF Board Projects, ground gunnery and rocket missions. There were also training facilities for fire fighting details.

Range / Site Description:

Associated Munitions:

Activities Completed: The draft Archives Search Report (ASR) for Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range was completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis District, in September 1997.

Issues: The Huntsville Center Technical Advisory Group (TAG) reviewed this ASR on 21 May 98 and determined RAC 3, EE/CA for all 40,587 acres of the site, with the exception of Areas 7 and 11, which are not within the boundaries of this Formerly Used Defense Site. The ASR points out that most ordnance items recovered from this range have been found in the vicinity of established target and firing locations; however, the potential for ordnance items could be anywhere on the range. There are no warning signs at the site. Historical data seems to indicate that significant live ordnance items might exist on the former Lake Bryant Bombing and Gunnery Range. Even with the presence of these items on the site, the lack of populated areas close to those locations resulted in a RAC 3.

Other Information: EE/CA

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