A construction company in Tampa stumbled upon a significant discovery near Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport, unearthing a bomb from the World War II era, as reported by the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. The decaying Mark 65 bomb, weighing 1,000 pounds, was found on Tuesday shortly before 3 p.m. during construction work for a new technical college in the vicinity of the airport.
As a precautionary measure, authorities evacuated an approximately half-mile radius and implemented road closures. Faced with this potential threat, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office solicited assistance from the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office Bomb Team and a squad from the MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to investigate the situation.
After an extensive investigation, crews determined that the bomb was, in fact, inert, alleviating concerns regarding its potential detonation. However, this discovery sheds light on the historical significance of Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport. According to the airport’s official website, it served as a military airfield during World War II and played a crucial role in training pilots and ground crews. The airport commenced operations in November 1942, with the arrival of the 1st Bomb Squadron. Subsequently, the 9th Bombardment Group utilized the airport for training exercises involving B-17 Flying Fortresses and B-24 Liberators.
In conclusion, this unexpected finding of a World War II-era bomb near Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport prompted a swift response from law enforcement agencies and military personnel. While the bomb was ultimately determined to be inactive, it serves as a reminder of the airport’s historical significance and its contribution to wartime efforts. The diligent work of the construction company and the collaborative efforts of the involved authorities ensured the safety of the surrounding area.