From 1943 to 1946 the U.S. government leased 2,111 acres of land to serve as the Orlando Range and Chemical Yard. The area is about three miles east of the current Orlando Executive (downtown) Airport. The military used the site for rifle and pistol practice, munitions demonstrations and as a chemical storage yard. The chemical yard was used to store smoke and incendiary munitions and other chemicals, such as decontamination agents (similar to chlorine used in pools or laundry bleach). Most of the land was used as a buffer to keep people away from military munitions and supplies. Demonstration exercises included incendiaries, grenades, rockets and simulated bomb detonations.
When the military did not need the land anymore, it was returned to its owners. In 1950, the military inspected the land and determined it was clear of dangerous materials that could be detected with the instruments at the time. No restrictions were placed on the development of the land. Since then, it has been fully developed with businesses, homes, schools and a park.
See the Fact Sheet for more information.