Tuskegee Airman who flew 142 WWII combat missions dies at 99

World War II pilot Robert Friend, one of the last original members of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 99. Friend's daughter, Karen Friend Crumlich, told The Desert Sun her father died Friday at a Southern California hospital

LONG BEACH, Calif. -- World War II pilot Robert Friend, one of the last original members of the famed all-black Tuskegee Airmen, has died at the age of 99.

Friend's daughter, Karen Friend Crumlich, told The Desert Sun her father died Friday at a Southern California hospital.

Friend's 28-year Air Force career included service in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He also worked on space launch vehicles and served as foreign technology program director before retiring as a lieutenant colonel and forming his own aerospace company.