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Joseph Gomer

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. Gomer was born in Iowa Falls, Iowa in 1920. He attended and graduated at Ellsworth Community College. In 1942, he enlisted in the USA Air Forces and was accepted, carrying out over 160 special missions until 1947. During his service, his plane was shot down by an enemy fighter but he managed to survive.[1] By 1964, he achieved the rank of Major in the USA Air Forces and soon retired. Gomer spent more than 20 years working for the US Forest Service.[2]


In 1985, he received the Superior Services Award for his work with minorities and women. In 2004, Gomer was inducted into the Iowa Aviation Hall of Fame and was also awarded with a Doctorate of Humanities from the Ellsworth College. George W. Bush awarded the Tuskegee Airmen collectively, including Gomer, with a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.[3] He was also invited to several events by current USA president, Barack Obama. At the Duluth International Airport, Gomer was honored by a bronze statue built at a new terminal located in the Duluth Airport.[4]

Personal life

He married Elizabeth Caperton in 1949, who died in 2012. The couple had two daughters. Gomer died on October 10, 2013, of cancer.[5]


  1. ^ "Minnesota's last living Tuskegee Airman dies in Duluth". TwinCities. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Remembering Tuskegee Airman Joseph Gomer, 1920-2013". Duluth News Turbine. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  3. ^ "Minnesota's last Tuskegee Airman dies at 93". CTpost. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Joseph Gomer of Duluth, dies at 93". StarTribune. Retrieved 12 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "Tuskegee Airman Joseph Gomer passes away". Northlands New Center. Retrieved 12 October 2013.