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Tuskegee Airman Who Flew 142 Combat Missions Dies At 99


One of the last surviving members of the all-black Tuskegee Airmen has died at 99 years old.  Robert Friend flew 142 WWII combat missions and also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. Born, ironically, on Leap Day in 1920, Friend was one of the elite pilots trained at Alabama’s Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The program was created by the military after the NAACP challenged policies that barred African Americans from flying in the military. After he retired from the military, Friend started working in the aerospace industry and even formed his own company.

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