World War II Tuskegee Airman dies at 99

LONG BEACH – Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend died in his Long Beach home at the age of 99.

Friend was one of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American military pilots who fought the Nazis abroad. He flew 142 combat missions in WWII before going on to serve in both Korea and Vietnam. Friend gave 28 years of military service and was one of the first African American aviators in the air corps.

The cause of death was sepsis, Friend’s daughter said. He will be buried with full military honors, most likely the weekend of July 4.

Categories: California News