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Home / Karen Crumlich

Biden signs bill to rename Irvine post office for Tuskegee airman

A bill to rename an Irvine post office in honor of a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen was signed into law Thursday by President Joe Biden.

The Northwood Post Office at 1 League will be known as the “Tuskegee Airman Lieutenant Colonel Robert J. Friend Memorial Post Office Building.”

Friend’s 28-year military career included flying 142 combat missions during World War II as a member of the all-Black unit. Friend received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential Unit Citation, Bronze Star with Flying Cross, three Distinguished Service Medals and the Air Medal.

Friend also served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, retiring from the Air Force in 1971. He died in 2019 at age 99.

“Our family is truly honored to have his name memorialized so that his legacy can live on for future generations,” Karen Crumlich, Friend’s daughter, said in February 2021, when Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, introduced the bill to rename the post office in Friend’s honor.

“If he was living today, he would have felt that this honor was beyond what he deserved because he felt that he was just doing his duty as an American citizen.”

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