Minnesota’s last surviving Tuskegee Airman, Joseph Gomer, dies at 93
The world lost a true American hero last week. Minnesota’s last surviving Tuskegee Airman, Joseph Gomer, died in Duluth, Minn. at the age of 93.
During World War II, Gomer was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, America’s first black fighter pilots, who protected U.S. bombers and were renowned for their flying skill, effectiveness and bravery in protecting U.S. heavy bombers in combat theaters. A life-sized bronze statue of a young Gomer in his flight suit stands at the Duluth International Airport terminal, which Thomson Reuters helped sponsor as part of its efforts to support and recruit veterans and minorities.
Gomer flew 68 World War II combat missions in P-47s and P-51s only to come home to continued racial prejudice. After the war, he stayed in the Air Force until 1964, retiring as a major. He then worked for the U.S. Forest Service until he retired to a life of air shows and school talks. He and other Tuskegee airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Bush in 2007.
“Joe was a true American hero,” said Rick King, COO, Technology at Thomson Reuters. King and Gomer became friends a few years back after connecting at an airshow awards dinner. “I feel really lucky to have met both Joe and his late wife Liz.”