January 28, 2022 All News

Captain Robert L. Martin Birthday Celebration

Captain Robert L Martin

DUBUQUE, Iowa - The Dubuque Regional Airport Commission and Staff, partnering with the University of Dubuque Captain Robert L. Martin Black Heritage Tribute and the Captain Robert L. Martin Commemoration Committee invite the public to attend a birthday celebration for Captain Robert L. Martin from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, at the Dubuque Regional Airport Terminal Building.

Captain Robert L. Martin was born in Dubuque on February 9,1919 and graduated from Dubuque Senior High School. He was an original member of the Tuskegee Airmen, a Black segregated aviator group in the US Army Air Corps. At the age of 23, the man known as "Fox", graduated from flight training at the Tuskegee Army Airfield in Alabama. He joined the 100th Fighter Squadron, part of the all-Black 332nd Fighter Group. In 1945, while flying his 64th mission, Captain Martin's plane was hit by enemy fire. He bailed out and landed behind enemy lines in Yugoslavia. After a month at an Allied mission manned by British soldiers, Captain Martin was airlifted to Italy and eventually returned home.

Captain Martin received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with six Oak Leaf Clusters, and the Purple Heart. In 2007, he was among the recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony honoring the Tuskegee Airmen.

The Robert L. Martin Commemoration Committee will attend the birthday celebration, with fundraising information available on naming the terminal building, constructing indoor and outdoor signage and an educational exhibit named after Captain Martin.

The University of Dubuque Captain Robert L. Martin Black Heritage Tribute Initiative Committee and Minorities in Aviation will be in attendance - celebrating creativity and ingenuity as well as promoting diversity and inclusion within the aviation industry.

The Captain Robert L. Martin Birthday Celebration will begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Dubuque Regional Airport Terminal, located at 10965 Aviation Drive, Dubuque, Iowa. The movie "Timeless Voices - Interview with Robert Martin" - will be showing continually. At 5:30 p.m. a short program featuring Gabrielle and Dominique Martin, two of Captain Martin's children, will commence. The event will conclude at 7:00 p.m.

The event is free and open to the public.  Complimentary cupcakes and refreshments will be available.  Facial coverings are required, and social distancing is encouraged.