Richard “Dick” Roberts joined the Georgia Air National Guard in February 1953. He then attended the aircraft maintenance school in Amarillo, Texas for four months. Dick served in the Air Guard for 32 years as a jet fighter crew chief and was a flight engineer on both the C-97 and C-124 cargo aircraft. He retired in February 1985 as Chief Master Sergeant.
He earned his private pilot license (PPL) in December 1964. Dick held air transport ratings on the DC-3 (C-47), Gulfstream 159, and the Cessna Citation 500. He received his commercial license in August 1965 and his instrument license in November 1965. Dick’s total flight time tallied over 15,000 hours.
Dick was hired by Delta Air Lines as a mechanic and served in this position between 1962-1966. His first flying job was with Universal Air Lines in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in November 1966. He hauled freight in the C-46 until furloughed in March 1967. Dick started flying for the State of Georgia on May 5, 1967. He flew five Governors (Lester Maddox, Jimmy Carter, George Busbee, Joe Frank Harris, and Zell Miller), sometimes their families, and other department heads. Some others of note he has flown were Burt Lance (Director of Planning and Budget for the U.S.), Dean Martin, Burt Reynolds, Jerry Reid, William Holden, Jerry Clower, Phil Harris, Doug Sanders, Pat Robertson, and Jacques Cousteau. Dick retired from the State of Georgia in December 1991 as its Administrator of Air Transportation and Chief Pilot.
Dick then became a corporate pilot for Delta Life Insurance with Glen Weathington from 1991-2003. He Joined the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame Board (GAHOF) in January 1992 as Director of Development and was subsequently appointed to Board of Directors in 1998. Dick served as Secretary/Treasurer for the GAHOF Board of Directors from 2002 to 2021.
In May 2005 he learned the Air Force Reserves planned to demolish the chapel that sat at the main entrance to Dobbins Air Reserve Base (DARB) to make way for a new parking lot. Dick and four other Civil National Guardsmen formed the Dobbins Chapel Foundation to raise tax free money to move the chapel. After eight years of struggle, the group received enough funds to move the chapel. The chapel was rededicated in April 2014 to the men and women who have faithfully served their country.