U.S. Rep. Kelly’s Bill to Rename Olympia Field’s Post Office for Capt. Robert Martin, a Tuskegee Airmen, Passes U.S. House

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

Washington, D.C.-(ENEWSPF)- Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives advanced Congresswoman Robin Kelly’s legislation to rename the Olympia Fields post office for Captain (USA, ret.) Robert L. Martin, a Tuskegee Airmen and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient. The measure was co-sponsored by the entire Illinois delegation.

“I thank my colleagues for passing this measure today. Throughout his military career and life, Captain Robert Martin showed what it means to be an American hero. Despite many barriers, he and the other Tuskegee Airmen led with their own personal example. They fought, bled and died for a country that considered them to be second-class citizens. And by their example, they helped change hearts and minds for the better,” said Congresswoman Robin Kelly. “Naming this post office, in his community, is a fitting tribute to Capt. Martin, his legacy and all his brothers in arms.”

“We continue to appreciate and support the efforts of Congresswoman Kelly. This recognition and the efforts of Congresswoman Kelly are truly appreciated,” said Gabrielle Martin, daughter of Capt. Martin. “While overseas evading capture, Dad was called an ‘American’ by a partisan.  This touched him greatly since he had to fight at home to be allowed to serve his country, as though he was not American.  Dad’s honorable legacy can stand and serve as an inspiration for the community, especially its young people.”

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.

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

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.

Following the Allied victory, he made his home in Chicago and worked as an electrical engineer. In 2008, he moved to Olympia Fields with his wife Odette Ewell. The couple was married for 68 years and had four children. Captain Martin passed away on July 26, 2018.

The legislation now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration.

This is a release from Congresswoman Robin Kelly.