It’s Now Law After Trump Signs Bill: Illinois Post Office to Be Named for Tuskegee Airman

Captain Robert L. Martin, Tuskegee Airmen
Captain Robert L. Martin (Photo: Family of Capt. Robert Martin)

President Trump signs bipartisan legislation, authored by Congresswoman Robin Kelly, to rename the U.S. Post Office in Olympia Fields, IL for the decorated Tuskegee Airman, Captain Robert L. Martin

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- The U.S. Post Office in Olympia Fields, IL will soon be renamed for Captain Robert L. Martin, a highly decorated Tuskegee Airman. Legislation authored by Congresswoman Robin Kelly in late February was signed into law by President Trump on August 21st, 2019. The U.S. House of Representatives approved the renaming legislation on April 30th, 2019 and the U.S. Senate concurred on August 1st, 2019; all Members of the Illinois Congressional delegation co-sponsored the bill.

A member of the famous World War II Tuskegee Airmen, Captain Martin, served as a combat pilot in the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group. On his 64th mission, he was shot down over German-occupied territory and evaded capture for five weeks as he made his way safely across Allied lines. He retired from the U.S. Army in 1945.

For his bravery and service, he received several war decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with Six Oak Leaf Cluster and the Purple Heart. In 2007, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President George W. Bush at a ceremony honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

After the war, he made his home in Chicago and worked as an electrical engineer. He married Odette Ewell; the couple was married for 68 years and had four children. In 2008, he moved to Olympia Fields where he passed away in 2018.

Robert L. Martin of the Tuskegee Airmen
U.S. Army Air Force Lt. Robert L. Martin of the Tuskegee Airmen. (Photo: Public Domain)

“Through his life and career, Captain Robert L. Martin taught us to pursue excellence and be dedicated to service. Honoring Captain Martin’s life and accomplishments by naming the post office in Olympia Fields is a fitting tribute to this American hero,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly.

In the coming weeks, Congresswoman Kelly will be working with the Post Office and Martin family to arrange a renaming ceremony. During the August District Work Period, Congresswoman Kelly held a preliminary planning meeting with Dominique, Captain Martin’s daughter.

President George W. Bush, Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Tuskegee Airmen Ceremony
President George W. Bush and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi stand amidst 300 Tuskegee Airmen during a photo opportunity Thursday, March 29, 2007, in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. (White House photo by Joyce Boghosian)

The news is being celebrated outside of Illinois as well. Tuskegee University President, Dr. Lily McNair said, “starting in the early 1940s, Tuskegee University was at the forefront of helping prepare young African American pilots to fight for freedom in the skies. More than three-quarters of a century later, we applaud Congresswoman Kelly’s efforts to ensuring their legacy of valor and patriotism endure. Their story of serving our country and overcoming obstacles is an inspiration for us all.”

This is news from Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s office.