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Rep. Kelly Seeks to Rename Olympia Fields Post Office for Tuskegee Airman Capt. Robert L. Martin

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

Olympia Fields, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Congresswoman Robin Kelly concluded February by filing legislation to rename the Olympia Fields post office for Captain (USA, ret.) Robert L. Martin.

Captain Martin was a member of the famous World War II Tuskegee Airmen. He 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.

Captain Martin’s bravery was recognized with 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.

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)

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

Captain Martin passed away on July 26, 2018, at the age of 99.

“Honoring Captain Martin’s life and accomplishments by naming the post office in Olympia Fields the ‘Captain Robert L. Martin Post Office’ is a fitting tribute to this American hero,” said Congresswoman Kelly. “His name and legacy are a source of pride to the community and his honor is just a small token of our appreciation.”

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

“Our family wishes to thank Congresswoman Kelly for introducing this bill. Not only does this bill honor our father, Capt. Robert Martin, it honors the value of honorable service to America,” said Gabrielle Martin, Capt. Martin’s daughter. “The Martin family value that ‘Failure is not an option’ guided Dad’s life. Dad flew for a segregated America that wanted to see him fail.

“The rich history of the Tuskegee Airman who fought racism at home and from home while facing hostilities overseas helped America secure victory and the many freedoms Americans enjoy.

“Naming a postal facility after Captain Robert Martin honors his legacy of bravery and service and helps to inspire the next generation to achieve their dreams against all odds.”

Related: Remembering Those Who Fell to Gun Violence, Congresswoman Robin Kelly Celebrates Passage of Bipartisan Background Checks Act

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