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Thunderbolt gets historical marker

The Georgia Historical Society on Friday dedicated a historical marker to the World War II Rescue Boat Station on the bluff of the Wilmington River in Thunderbolt.

The Thunderbolt Yacht Basin opened in 1939, and by 1941 the Army Air Corps stationed at Hunter Field had three “crash boats” stationed there to support training conducted over water.

Crash boats, more formally known as rescue boats, were deployed to save air crews who crashed or had to ditch their planes over water.

By 1942, the air corps had acquired the yacht basin for use as a Rescue Boat Station in support of its airborne bombing and gunnery training.

The Thunderbolt station housed the crash rescue boats of Operations Platoon No. 9 of the 922nd Quartermaster Co., eventually becoming part of the Third Air Force Staging Wing at Hunter Field until the mid-1950s. It has been used for civilian marine services since the 1960s.

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