Georgia county seeking federal designation for its WWII role
BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A coastal Georgia community is seeking a special designation from the federal government for its role during World War II.
Officials in Glynn County have applied to the U.S. Department of the Interior to be named an American World War II Heritage City. Letters supporting the effort have been submitted by 14 members of Congress from Georgia as well as Gov. Brian Kemp, The Brunswick News reported.
“Based on the criteria for designation, Glynn County is a strong candidate in terms of our contributions to the home front war effort, and our current initiatives communitywide to preserve the heritage and legacy of the war effort and World War II history,” Sherri Jones, executive director of the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, said in a news release.
In 2018, the historical society opened the World War II Home Front Museum on St. Simons Island to tell the story of Glynn County’s unique history during the war.
It was a period when thousands of workers, many of them women, at the Brunswick shipyards built so-called liberty ships used to transport supplies to U.S. troops overseas. Blimps taking off from the Glynco Naval Air Station scouted the coast for enemy submarines. Naval officers trained in the area to use radar to direct fighter planes in the heat of battle.
And on April 8, 1942, a German U-boat torpedoed two merchant ships off St. Simons Island. The attack killed 22 sailors, while others were saved by Coast Guard crews.
A federal law passed in 2019 authorizes the Interior secretary to designate one American World War II Heritage City per state. The distinction can also be for a county or other jurisdiction. The National Park Service says application reviews can take several months.