Dubuque airport terminal named for Black WWII fighter pilot

Posted at 1:29 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-21 14:34:28-04

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — The main terminal at Dubuque's regional airport has been renamed to honor a Black World War II fighter pilot from the eastern Iowa city.

The family of the late Robert Martin, city leaders and those who sought the change gathered Tuesday for a ribbon cutting at the Dubuque Regional Airport to commemorate the new name, the Capt. Robert L. Martin Terminal, the Telegraph Herald reported.

Martin, who died in 2018 at the age of 99, was a native of Dubuque who joined the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and flew missions with the famed Tuskegee Airmen — the U.S. Army's first Black aviators.

During the war, Martin flew numerous missions in Europe and was shot down while flying over Yugoslavia. For his service, Martin was awarded several medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart and, later, the Congressional Gold Medal.

The renaming of the airport terminal followed a two-year campaign, kicked off by Dawnelle Gordon when she submitted a petition asking for the change. In 2020, the Dubuque Regional Airport Commission voted unanimously to approve renaming the airport terminal for Martin.

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