$162 million. That's the economic impact that Dobbins Air Force Base brings to Marietta. Not bad for what started out in 1941 as a small airstrip called Rickenbacker Field, as America prepared for World War II. Then, during the war, it became Marietta Army Air Field when the Bell Bomber plant was located there.
With more than 28,000 workers, the plant assembled the B-29 Superfortress. In 1948 the U.S. Air Force renamed it Marietta Air Force Base and two years later changed it again to honor Marietta native Captain Charles Dobbins.
Dobbins was a Georgia Tech grad who flew C-47 troop transport planes in north Africa and Europe. In July 1943 Dobbins’ plane was shot down over Sicily on his 88th combat mission of the war. The plane and crew were never found. Dobbins was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. His family was there when Dobbins Air Force Base was formally dedicated on April 29, 1950, Today in Georgia History.
Today in Georgia History is a joint collaboration of the Georgia Historical Society & Georgia Public Broadcasting.