Commemorate Capt. Bob Martin

Help us in our mission to commemorate decorated war veteran, Tuskegee Airmen pilot, and Dubuque native, Captain Robert L. Martin at the Dubuque Regional Airport. The Airport's Commission granted Dawnelle Gordon’s application to name the terminal in his honor in July 2020. Received donations will go towards building outdoor name signage and an indoor plaque and educational exhibit with major donor recognition. Due to federal regulations, the airport cannot use their funds on this project; therefore, we are relying on donations for this effort. 

The Tuskegee Airmen have been the topic of many books, new segments, and documentaries. Their story has also been told in two blockbuster films, The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) and Red Tails (2012). The Tuskegee Airmen are notable to many worldwide and still acclaimed decades after their service in WWII. Despite all of this, many in Dubuque, IA today do not know one of the best and brightest of this unprecedented group is a son of Dubuque.

The purpose of this project is to solidify Captain Martin's place in Dubuque history.  Robert L. Martin (1919 - 2018), known endearingly as "Bob," was born in Dubuque, IA. He graduated from Dubuque Senior High School in 1936 and earned his bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering in 1942 from Iowa State University. During this time, only 1% of Black men achieved this level of education in America. 

After college, he joined the United States Army Air Corps during World War II and became part of the world-renowned Tuskegee Airmen. Martin and his comrades of the 100th Fighter Squadron were a part of the 332nd Fighter Group. They flew on long-range bomber escort and strafing missions to seek out and destroy enemy resources. As a Tuskegee Airmen, Captain Martin was not just a  forerunner in combat missions, he was also a forerunner in the desegregation of the United States Military and the desegregation of America. 

During his military career, Captain Martin earned numerous service medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and the Air Medal with 6 Oak Leaf Clusters. On March 29, 2007, Martin was one of the attendees at the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony commemorating all Tuskegee Airmen held in Washington, D.C.

The projected cost to complete the Captain Martin Commemoration is estimated at $100,000, as detailed in the estimated budget below. We hope to have extensive education about Captain Martin within and around the terminal, so that is also part of the costs.

Here is our estimated budget:

Task                                                                                      Estimated Amount
Architect                                                                                                 $ 11,000
Sign Construction, Installation                                                  $ 80,000
Educational Video                                                                                $ 2,500
Bronze Plaque                                                                                        $ 3,000
Maintenance & Administration                                                    $ 3,500
Total                                                                                                        $ 100,000
  • Sue Wilson 
    • $50 
    • 14 d
  • colin roling 
    • $10 
    • 1 mo
  • Sheila Threlkeld 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Charles Winterwood 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Thomas & Barbara Robbins 
    • $200 
    • 4 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kim Rowe 
Dubuque, IA
Dawnelle Gordon 
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