Sending Office: Honorable Katie Porter
Please join me in honoring the life of Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend by cosponsoring legislation to designate the Northwood United States Postal Service facility located at 1 League, Irvine, California as the “Tuskegee Airman Lieutenant Colonel Robert J. Friend
Memorial Post Office Building.”
Before passing away in June 2019, Lt. Col. Friend was one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen who took to the skies during World War II as the first African American military aviators. The roughly 1,000 Tuskegee Airmen flew 15,000 combat sorties, destroyed
260 enemy aircraft and received 150 decorations of the Flying Cross and Legion of Merit, fighting the Nazi Luftwaffe while simultaneous striking a blow against racism back home.
Lt. Col. Friend flew fighter aircrafts for nearly two years during the war. During Lt. Col. Friend’s 142 combat missions he destroyed critical Nazi and axis power military assets, helping move the U.S and ally forces towards victory during the war. In addition,
Lt. Col. Friend served in strategic roles as an Operations Officer for the 301st Squadron and was the final Operations Officer of the 332nd Fighter Group. Lt. Col. Friend also served honorably in Korea and Vietnam.
Lt. Col. Friend was the recipient of multiple military awards for valorous service including the: Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation, Bronze Star with Flying Cross, three Distinguished Service Medals, and Air Medal. In addition, Lt.
Col. Friend and his fellow Tuskegee airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.
Following the war, Lt. Col. Friend studied astrophysics at the Air Force Institute of Technology and business at the University of California, Los Angeles. After retiring from the Air Force in 1971, he worked as a consultant on the development of missile
systems and space-station components near his home in Irvine, CA.
I ask for your support and cosponsorship to designate the Northwood Post office in California’s 45th District as the “Tuskegee Airman Lieutenant Colonel Robert J. Friend Memorial Post Office Building.” If you have any questions, or would like
to cosponsor this bill, please contact Florence Frank in my office at Florence.Frank@mail.house.gov.
Very truly yours,
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0