Georgia Historical Society to Commemorate World War II Rescue Boat Station in Thunderbolt with Historical Marker

Savannah, Ga., March 22, 2017 - The Georgia Historical Society will dedicate a new historical marker this Friday, March 24, to the World War II Rescue Boat Station on the bluff of the Wilmington River in Thunderbolt.

Speakers will include The Honorable Beth Goette, Mayor of Thunderbolt; Bill Palmer, son of the late Staff Sergeant William J. Palmer who served at the Rescue Boat Station; and Elyse Butler, Outreach Coordinator at the Georgia Historical Society. Special music will be provided by the Third Infantry Division Band Ensemble, and Ms. Terrie Matthews will sing the National Anthem. The Third I.D. Color Guard will post the colors and Major Jon Wilson, Garrison Chaplain for Hunter Army Airfield will make the Invocation.

The dedication will take place at 11:00 a.m. at Thunderbolt Marine Inc., 3124 River Drive in Thunderbolt. The public is invited to attend.

The marker reads:

World War II Rescue Boat Station

The Thunderbolt Yacht Basin opened here in 1939 to service marine vessels.  It was built on the site of the Civil War-era Ft. Thunderbolt on a point used for defensive fortifications since at least the eighteenth century. In 1942, during World War II, the US Army Air Forces stationed at Hunter Field acquired the Yacht Basin for use as a Rescue Boat Station to support bombing and gunnery training conducted over water. The Rescue Boat Station housed the “P” crash rescue boats of Operations Platoon No. 9 of the 922nd Quartermaster Company Boat (Aviation), which provided emergency response for downed aircraft. The facility became part of the Third Air Force Staging Wing at Hunter Field and continued as a military installation until the mid-1950s. Since the 1960s the site has been used for civilian marine services.

Erected by the Georgia Historical Society, Town of Thunderbolt, and
Thunderbolt Marine Inc.


Georgia Historical Society (GHS) is the premier independent statewide institution responsible for collecting, examining, and teaching Georgia history. GHS houses the oldest and most distinguished collection of materials related exclusively to Georgia history in the nation.
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The Georgia Historical Society has administered Georgia’s historical marker program since 1998, erecting over 250 new historical markers and maintaining over 2,100 older markers across Georgia on a wide variety of subjects. Now, online mapping tools allow you to design statewide driving routes based on historical markers, while mobile apps give information about markers nearby. Visit for more ways to use Georgia’s historical markers and experience history where it happened.