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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

Source

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

Sculptor

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

History

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?

See results

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 12 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
      Author

      Susie Lehto 13 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 13 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
      Author

      Susie Lehto 13 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 13 months ago

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

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 18 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
      Author

      Susie Lehto 18 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 18 months ago from Frozen Tundra

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

    • Sgt Prepper profile image

      Gunny Cracker 18 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 19 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
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years 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 2 years 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
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years 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 2 years 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
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years 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 2 years ago from North Texas

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

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      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
      Author

      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.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Thank you Glenn, for visiting, and for suggesting a little title change on this webpage. ~ Much appreciated!

    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 2 years ago from Long Island, NY

      A wonderful tribute to a true hero.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Mary, nice to see you. I like reading about accomplishments of people, as well. - Thank you m'dear.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I always like to read about people recognized for the things they have done for us.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I would have been honored to meet Joe, like my sister did. She said he was a genuine nice man. - Thank you, Writer Fox.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Yes, Joe was a fighter pilot, peachpurple.

      Thanks for checking him out.

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 2 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      What a wonderful account! I had not heard of Joseph P. Gomer before and am so glad you are bringing attention to his achievements. Voted up!

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      wow, he is a pilot? First time i heard of this name, thanks

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Peggy, it is wonderful that Joe and so many other airmen got to see the day when they were remembered for their heroic serves to the United States.

      Thank you for sharing this post.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I am so happy that he was still alive to see that statue of him revealed and on display. It is wonderful that Joseph P. Gomer and the other Tuskgee Airmen have finally been honored for the important part they served while in service to our country. Up votes, sharing, tweeting, G+ and pinning to my interesting people board.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I am always delighted to learn about our heroes of war, RTalloni. It is impossible to put myself in their boots or relate to what they went through.

      Thank you!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

      So glad to see this hero highlighted here! Thanks for sharing the information and graphics. I agree, teaches12345 should get those stories documented for everyone!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Dianna, I would love to be able to hear some of the stories that your friend's husband has to tell. It is wonderful that after so many years had passed, that the Tuskegee Airmen were finally honored.

      Thank you.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      @swilliams, Thank you for your very nice comment. I am glad that you enjoyed seeing the images of the statue.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 2 years ago

      I have a friend whose husband fought with the Tuskgee Airman. He is quite elderly but still loves to tell his stories. What a wonderful tribute to Joseph P. Gomer. I enjoyed your post and how he came to be honored for his accomplishments.

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 2 years ago from Arizona

      You presented a great article full of insightful information! I enjoyed the pictues! This is the first time I've seen the statue, I hope to see it in person someday! Voted up and tweeted out!

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I totally agree with you Ron. For too long the Tuskegee Airmen were forgotten, but they have been truly honored, finally.

      Thank you.

    • RonElFran profile image

      Ronald E Franklin 2 years ago from Mechanicsburg, PA

      The contribution the Tuskegee Airmen made to this nation can't be overestimated. It's great to see that they are not being forgotten. I hadn't known about Joseph Gomer before, but I'm very glad to see him honored with a statue.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      The Major needs to be remember, along with all the Tuskegee veterans. He is a hug piece of history.

      Thank you, Elsie.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I am so glad that the Tuskegee Airmen were finally honored for their heroic service. - Thank you, Cris.

    • colorfulone profile image
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      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Sylvia, (@boutiqueshops), thank you for coming by m'dear. The Tuskegee Airmen commanded respect for what they were able to do in battle.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Interesting. I have just learnt a little more history, have never heard of Joe Gomer, if I do hear that name again I will have this article in the back of my mind to remind me. Thanks.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Interesting! This is good to know. I sure learned something new today.

      Thank you.

    • colorfulone profile image
      Author

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Sandy, my sister was honored to be able to meet Joe and his wife.

      Thank you.

    • colorfulone profile image
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      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Nancy, Joe was a very colorful individual who lived an interesting life.

      Thank you, OhMe!

    • boutiqueshops profile image

      Sylvia 2 years ago from Corpus Christi, Texas

      I love the story of the Tuskegee airmen and you did a beautiful job with this page. Awesome!

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 2 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      That is so cool that you sister got to meet this hero Joe Gomer. Very interesting.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 2 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I enjoyed learning about Joe Gomer and reading this page.