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This Day in Georgia History

April 29, 1950

Dobbins Air Force Base Dedicated

On this date the Air Force formally dedicated Dobbins Air Force Base in Cobb County in honor of the late Capt. Charles M. Dobbins and in memory of the other servicemen from Cobb and Fulton Counties, and of Georgia, “whose deeds and sacrifices will forever be honored.” The origin of the base dates to 1940, when Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt named Marietta native Gen. Lucius D. Clay to launch the Civil Aeronautics Administration, which had the task of planning airfield construction in anticipation of possible U.S. entry into the war. One of the sites selected for a new airfield was Marietta, and here a new facility named Rickenbacker Field was built in 1941. In 1942, the air base was renamed Marietta Army Airfield. In 1948, following creation of the U.S. Air Force as a separate arm of the military, the airfield was renamed Marietta Air Force Base. A native of Marietta, Capt. Dobbins graduated from Georgia Tech in 1939. During World War II, Dobbins flew C-47 troop transport planes in North Africa and in Europe. On July 11, 1943, during a night paratroop mission, Dobbins’ C-47 was shot down by anti-aircraft fire as it proceeded out to sea near Gela, Sicily. The plane and crew were never found. Capt. Dobbins flew eighty-eight bombardment missions in the North African campaign and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and a variety of other medals. His unit had been awarded the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation. [Contributed by Dr. Tom Scott, Kennesaw State University]