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Hero Statue Honors Forgotten Tuskegee Airmen Joe Gomer

Updated on January 15, 2017
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I hope you enjoy seeing the photos of the statue of Joseph P. Gomer and learning a little about an true American hero.

Black American Hero Statue

Hero Statue Honors Forgotten Tuskegee Airman Joseph Gomer
Hero Statue Honors Forgotten Tuskegee Airman Joseph Gomer | Source

Statue Honoring A Hero

A life-sized statue of the veteran of war, Joseph P. Gomer in his flight suit was dedicated and is now on display at the Duluth International Airport, 4931 Airport Road.

North of Duluth, Minnesota in the United States, is "where he became a nuclear weapons officer". His hometown of Iowa Falls, Iowa has also honored him with a statue.

Joe was in the first group of African Americans to serve in WWII as a Tuskegee Airman and reached the rank of Major before retiring from the Air Force after 22 years of service. He is credited with 68 missions as a fighter pilot protecting U.S. bombers.

The Northland Veterans Service Committee raised $48,000.00 through donations for a statue honoring Joe Gomer.

The unveiling of the life-sized statue was in June 2012, a week after Joe Gomer's 92nd birthday.

  • I designed an Air Force Greeting Card with a photo of Joe's statue below.

Legendary Fighter Pilot Video

White House Photo


Congressional Gold Medal

Joe was honored to be in the audience in 2007 when President George W. Bush presented the Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal.

"President George W. Bush and Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi stand amidst 300 Tuskegee Airmen during a photo opportunity Thursday, March 29, 2007, in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. White House photo by Joyce Boghosian."

Joe was honored once again as one of the groups of Tuskegee Airmen veterans, who were invited to the inauguration of President Obama in 2009.

Tuskegee Airman Greeting Card

Tuskegee Airman Joesph Gomer Statue Greeting Card
Tuskegee Airman Joesph Gomer Statue Greeting Card | Source

You can buy this greeting card that was digitally mastered from a photo of the statue of the WW II Tuskegee Airman fighter pilot hero Joseph Gomer. It is a perfect gift for an African American graduating from the US Air Force in congratulations.

Tuskegee Airman Information

"Joseph Gomer (June 20, 1920 – October 10, 2013) was an African-American pilot, best remembered as one of the last surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen." - Wikipedia.

Joe's daughter wrote and published a web-site that is informative and an interesting tribute to her father.

For those of you who are avid readers, you might want to read about the history of this hero at A Tribute to my Father, Joseph Philip Gomer.

It was a top news story when this Tuskgee Airman passed away.

The Tuskegee Airmen (1995) Full Movie

Digital Images

Honor Is Earned
Honor Is Earned | Source


Statue to be sculpted by artist Tim Cleary of Hermantown, Minnesota

Forgotten Airman Joseph Gomer Video

When I listen to the video above, I am impressed with Joe's gentle and humble spirit. During his years of service in the United States Air Force, there was segregation of the Black Americans right from the start of BootCamp. What a shame that such prejudice existed even in the military.

The Tuskegee Airmen had to earn respect and that they did by flying successful missions. Their comrades in arms began to take notice of their heroic effects to protect and serve and honored them in the air.

Heroes Are Black And White

World War II Fighter Pilot Statue
World War II Fighter Pilot Statue | Source


The statue was temporarily housed at the Commemorative Air Force Museum at 4931 Airport Road in Duluth, MN, which is open for tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays and well worth a visit, too.

Question and Answer

Have you seen the statue of Joseph Gomer?

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A true hero!

My sister was honored to meet Joe Gomer and his wife, Liz. Joe had celebrated his 92nd birthday on June 20th 2012! Joe continued to serve his community and veterans with a special mission to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and was the keynote speaker at the Duluth, MN Veterans Day event on 11.11.11 at the DECC Auditorium.

Joseph P. Gomer, the last living Tuskgee Airman living in Minnesota passed on to his final rest at the age of 93 during a final battle with cancer.

Tuskegee Airman Tribute Video

Duty poem

There's no use complaining, whatever befalls you;
Perhaps all your cares are but blessings disguised;
There are various ways in which duty may call you
To work out the plan she wisely devised.

Just take it for granted, your task is essential,
A part most important in nature's great plan;
A duty well done, is a noble credential;
And one to be honored, by God and by man.

So bravely perform every duty assigned you,
And never complain of the burdens you bear;
And you will find pleasures enough to remind you
that life has more blessings than hardships and care.

By E.F. Hayward

Vintage War Poster

War poster featuring a Tuskegee Airman
War poster featuring a Tuskegee Airman | Source

Believe in God

The Tuskegee Airmen were told in training that if they do not believe in God, that they needed to find a good substitute.

  • Not all of them survived training.
  • 16 Airmen died in battle.
  • 850 medals were awarded.

Fighter Pilots

Tuskegee Airmen
Tuskegee Airmen | Source

United States Air Force Hereos!

Aviator, Aircrewman, AirForce

© 2014 Susie Lehto

Guestbook For A Hero

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    • profile image

      Martin DeWitt 6 months ago

      Wonderful article! Thank you! Tremendous recognition due for Joe Gomer and the Tuskegee Airmen.

      I might add, I do not the see the artist of this wonderful sculpture noted or recognized. Plus, I do not see the artist noted on the actual sculpture at the airport via signage or plaque. By chance, do you know who the artist is who created the sculpture...and is it possible to install signage or a plaque to recognize the artist, the artist selection process, donors? Thanks again!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 6 months ago from Minnesota

      Robert, thank you for returning to comment. I appreciate that very much. Hope you are having a great day, everyday!

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 6 months ago

      Yes, I'm sure he would have been familiar with almost all of the WWII fighter planes. This would be especially true of the Spitfire and the other front line fighters.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 6 months ago from Minnesota

      Robert, thank you for visiting, sir. I just read you hub about the Spitfire. I'm sure Joe was very familiar with those planes. I wish you all the best.

    • Robert Sacchi profile image

      Robert Sacchi 6 months ago

      A good article about Major Joe Gomer and the Tuskegee Airmen.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 11 months ago from Minnesota

      Hi Sandy! Joe's life must have been much more interesting for him then it is for us to read and hear about. He was a humble hero in my eyes. - Kudos!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 11 months ago from Minnesota

      Kevin (Sgt.) it sounds like you know your old movies well. Thank you for sharing that information, I should research that sometime, I'm sure it would be interesting and entertaining as well.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 11 months ago from Frozen Tundra

      Joe was part of an elite group of men. A nice tribute too.

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 11 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Great hub, interesting and important history.

      FYI - The very first black American fighter-pilot was Eugene "The Black Swallow of Death" Bullard of World War One and was loosely portrayed in the movie "Flyboys".

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 12 months ago from Elkhorn, WI

      Great article. The 1995 movie "Tuskegee Airmen" starred Laurence Fishburne, Cuba Gooding Jr & John Lithgow. Another black pioneer fighter pilot was Eugene "The Black Swallow of Death" Bullard of the Lafayette Flying Corps of World War One. He is loosely portrayed as Eugene Skinner in "Flyboys" with James Franco.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 19 months ago from Minnesota

      Suzanne, sorry it has taken me so long to chat with you. Always nice to read your comments. I hope things are going well with you. - Thank you!

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 20 months ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Thanks for the useful greeting card of Airman Joe and the lovely images. His life sized statue is certainly an object of a former time, the clothing was interesting too!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 22 months ago from Minnesota

      I think it is wonderful too, Patrica. Joe lived long enough to receive the honor that was due. - Thank you m'dear!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 22 months ago from sunny Florida

      How wonderful it was that he and others were alive to be honored rather than have it happen posthumously.

      thanks for sharing...we need to read more good news.

      Angels are headed your way this morning ps

      Voted up++++

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 23 months ago from Minnesota

      Thank you for visiting, Au fait. Joe was a hero for sure, and a very nice person. - Kudos!

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 23 months ago from North Texas

      A great tribute to Joe Gomer, a true American hero. Well done!

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Sheila, me too. I am glad for those who loved to see the day of being honored for their heroic service. - Thank you my m'dear.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 2 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      This is a wonderful tribute to the airmen and Mr. Gomer. I am so glad that he was still alive and there when President Bush presented them with the gold medal.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Good to see you, @poetryman. Yes, there are movies about the airmen who fought so heroically.

      Thanks to you!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I have heard of the Tuskegee Airmen before. I think I saw a movie about. Interesting hub.

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