Published in the Linn County News Sept. 15, 2021
Wichita, KS - Bernard Eugene “Bernie” Carbon, Sr., Chief Master Sgt. Retired Air Force, born in Ft. Scott, Kan. on August 25, 1929 to Harold W. and Beatrice M. Carbon, went to be with the Lord on September 9, 2021.
Bernie came to Wichita, KS in the summer of 1940, attending school at Kellogg Grade and Plainview High. He received an Associates Degree from Butler County Community College in 1978 and another from the Community of College Art in 1986.
In December of 1948, Bernie enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. After finishing basic training, he was stationed at Travis AFB, CA, for a short time before being deployed to the South Pacific Theater (Guam and Tokyo, Japan). During his tour of duty in June 1950 the Korean War began, causing his tour to be extended. After serving 26 months overseas, Bernie was reassigned to Robins AFB in Warner Robins, GA in 1952. It was here he met and married Barbara Ann Wade, and from this union they were blessed with four sons. Bernie was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force in September 1952 and returned to Wichita, KS. After being employed at Boeing Aerospace for one year, Bernie accepted employment in December 1953 with the 127th TAC Fighter Group, Kansas Air National Guard located at McConnell AFB. In 1962, Bernie was awarded the Citizens Soldier Award from the City of Wichita, Chamber of Commerce.
In February 1968, during the Pueblo Crisis, Bernie was called to active duty with the 184th Tactical Fighter Group and deployed to Kunsan AFB, Korea as the First Sgt. of the 127th Tactical Fighter Squadron in advance to prepare for the arrival of 500 Guardsmen. During his career in the Air Guard, he was involved in five aircraft conversions. In 1983 Chief Carbon, being one of the nominees from 50 states and 4 territories, was selected to be the Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Director, Air National Guard, Washington, DC. Bernie was the third person to serve in this, the highest enlisted position in the Air National Guard. Here he traveled extensively, maintaining close communication with men and women in the field within the United States, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. He also maintained close liaison with his counterparts in the Air Force and other major commands. Bernie served on the Department of Defense Reserve Forces Advisory Council, as well, while assigned to the Washington, DC post.
Upon returning to Wichita, Bernie again worked at Boeing Aerospace until he accepted employment by the State of Kansas Emergency Management Division, where he remained until full retirement. Bernie was an active member of Immanuel Baptist Church in Wichita, KS since 1952. He served as Chairman of Deacons for 6 years and was active in Gideon’s International. In 2002, he was inducted into the Kansas National Guard Hall of Fame.
Bernie is survived by his wife of 69 years, Barbara; sons, Bernard E. Jr. (Annette) Carbon of Warner Robins, GA, Donald A. (Betsy) Carbon of Mulvane, KS, Keith W. (Nicole) Carbon of Ft. Ann, NY; daughter-in-law, Donna Carbon of Byron, GA; 15 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by son, Ronald D. Carbon (USAF Ret.); daughter-in-law, Shirley A. Carbon; granddaughters, Ahna M. Pullock and Amanda L. Carbon; parents, Harold and Beatrice Carbon.
Services were held on Monday, September 13, at Immanuel Baptist Church, Wichita, KS.
In lieu of flowers, Memorials: Immanual Baptist Church, 1415 Topeka St, Wichita, KS 67211 and Gideons International, PO Box 20741, Wichita, KS 67208. Shinkle Mortuary, Haysville, KS in charge of arrangements. www.shinklemortuary.com.
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