Rev. Charles Robbins, center, is pictured with Captain Brian Horstman, left, and his son, Al Robbins.
Rev. Charles Robbins, center, is pictured with Captain Brian Horstman, left, and his son, Al Robbins.
By Steve Swogetinsky

Kemper Messenger

A decorated Korean War veteran was honored with the G.V. “Sonny” Montgomery Patriot award during the annual July 4th Independence Day celebration at Kemper County Court House in DeKalb.

The Kemper County Chamber of Commerce puts on the program each year and sponsors the Montgomery Patriot award in honor of the late Third District congressman.

Rev. Charles Robbins received this year’s award for his service. Originally from Alabama, Rev. Robbins makes his home in DeKalb.

Robbins joined the Air Force after finishing high school. He served during the Korean War, flying 25 missions as a crewman on a B-29 bomber. He is a decorated veteran, receiving the National Defense Medal, the Korean Theater of Operations Medal, the United Nations Service Medal with one battle star, the Presidential Unit Citation, the South Korean Presidential Citation and the Air Medal.

Upon returning to civilian life after the war, Robbins got his college education under the G.L. bill. He met his wife, Ella Joann Jones, while in college. Upon graduation, he became a teacher in Kemper County.  In the 1970s, he entered the ministry and served several churches as a Methodist minister until his retirement. The Robbins have three sons, three grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

“I was a 19-year-old Alabama boy and joined the service in 1951,” Robbins said. “The Korean War is often referred to as the forgotten war. We need to remember that on June 25, 1950, there was full-scale attack by North Korea against South Korea.”

The United States was obligated by treaty to help South Korean, Robbins said. The only real power was U.S. The only condition was that no United State military personnel would serve under a foreign commander.

Robbins arrived in South Korea in February 1953 and flew the 25 missions as a gunner on a B-29.

“July 27, 1953, we flew a mission,” Robbins said. “At 2 a.m., we dropped our bombs. Four hours later at 6 a.m., the cease fire was signed.”

Robbins noted that the cease fire remains today and no peace treaty has been signed.

Captain Brian Horstman, commander of the Meridian Naval Air Station, was the guest speaker for the program. He complimented and praise Rev. Robbins for his service to his country.

The program was closed by the laying of the wreath in honor of those who gave their lives for their country.