Irvine post office renamed in honor of Tuskegee Airman

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Saturday, August 27, 2022
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An Irvine post office was renamed in honor of a member of the Tuskegee Airmen. The building is now named after Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend, who made Irvine his home after nearly three decades of military service.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A post office in the Northwood community of Irvine was renamed in honor of a military officer and pilot who served with the Tuskegee Airmen.

The building is now named after Lt. Col. Robert J. Friend, who died in 2019.

Friend was awarded the Air Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal for his heroic service during World War II.

His family, local leaders and Congresswoman Katie Porte on Thursday unveiled a plaque with the post office's new name in his honor.

"He fought for his country simply and because I quote, he was an American, and it was the right thing to do," Porter said.

Friend made Irvine his home in 1972 after nearly three decades of military service. His children are grateful for the honor and for how the community is embracing their father.

In a video published by the city of Irvine in 2012, Friend reminisced on the days when he was a pilot with the Tuskegee Airmen.

Now, his name will be remembered forever.

RELATED: Tuskegee Airman who flew 142 WWII combat missions dies at 99