The Sun News

Warner Robins was named after a military general. But he had never been to the city

Gen. Augustine Warner Robins
Gen. Augustine Warner Robins

March 5 will be the 75th anniversary of the bill being passed in the Georgia legislature officially renaming the community of Wellston to Warner Robins.

The namesake of the city was Gen. Augustine Warner Robins, who was a native of Gloucester County, Virginia, but never visited Warner Robins.

However, he did enter military service after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy in 1907 and was attached for two years with the 12th Cavalry at Fort Oglethorpe in Georgia.

Long before the Air Force was conceived, the brilliant career of Robins led him to become chief of the Army Air Corps Materiel Division from 1935 to 1939. At the time of his death in 1940, he was commandant of the Training Center at Randolph Field in Texas.

Robins was considered "the father of the Air Force’s present day system of supply and maintenance," according to the book "Warner Robins: The First 25 Years," which was published in 1968 to commemorate the silver anniversary of the city.

It seems a fitting tribute to both the city and Robins Air Force Base that they are named in honor of such a highly regarded member of the Armed Forces.

Over the years, other books have been published about the city including "Warner Robins: The Second 25 Years,""A Land So Dedicated" and "Houston County, In Our Own Words."

Considering the growth of industry, sports, churches and the Museum of Aviation, it’s time to publish another book covering the additional accomplishments of Warner Robins.

In commemoration of the city’s 75th diamond anniversary, Historical Publishing Network of San Antonio, Texas, recently contracted with the city of Warner Robins with endorsements from the Museum of Aviation and the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau to publish a new coffee table pictorial history of the city.

"Planes, Trains and Heroes: The Story of Warner Robins and the Robins Region, 1943-2018" will be a large format volume written by Dianne Dent Wilcox, a local historian and professor at Georgia Military College.

With a focus on the impact of the Museum of Aviation and its education program to the city and state, the book will describe the people and events that have shaped the region into what it is today.

Loaded with photographs, maps and paintings, the book also will feature local businesses, organizations and churches telling their stories in their own words. The section of the book is called "Sharing the Heritage" and is being organized by managing editor Brenda Thompson. If you would like to learn more about the opportunity to have your organization’s story included in the book, contact Thompson at 478-396-6163 or

"Planes, Trains and Heroes" will be a fitting tribute to 75 years of growth with much more to come.

From its inception as a farm community to a military installation created to support the World War II effort, the city is the reflection of ambition, progress and success overcoming the odds to be closed after the war.

Author and retired Judge Max Asbell describes in his poem the culture of the city when he says, “The magnetism of Warner Robins is not its great eye appeal; it is its stubborn tenacity and determination that makes it real. For people like me it is the fulfillment of the American dream, where we work together in concerted effort as an unselfish team."

Marsha Priest Buzzell is the executive director of the Warner Robins Convention & Visitors Bureau. Contact her at 478-922-5100 or