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Tuskegee Airman laid to rest

Members of the U. S. Air Force Honor Guard stand at attention during the graveside ceremony for 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of the more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts/Released)

Members of the U. S. Air Force Honor Guard stand at attention during the graveside ceremony for 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of the more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts/Released)

The family of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield watch as Whitfield's casket arrives at his burial site in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on June 8, 2016. While serving in the Korean War, Whitfield prepared to compete in track and field events at the 1951 Pan American Games by training on the runways between bombing missions.  (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

The family of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield watch as Whitfield's casket arrives at his burial site in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on June 8, 2016. While serving in the Korean War, Whitfield prepared to compete in track and field events at the 1951 Pan American Games by training on the runways between bombing missions. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Capt. Kendra Gusme, a member of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, stands at attention while the casket carrying former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, is removed from a hearse at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield served in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman, and later joined the Air Force Reserve as an officer. The honor guard provided full honors during the graveside service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

Capt. Kendra Gusme, a member of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard, stands at attention while the casket carrying former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, is removed from a hearse at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield served in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman, and later joined the Air Force Reserve as an officer. The honor guard provided full honors during the graveside service. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

Nola Whitfield awaits the arrival of her husband’s casket during former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield’s graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. Whitfield received full military honors during the graveside ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Nola Whitfield awaits the arrival of her husband’s casket during former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield’s graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. Whitfield received full military honors during the graveside ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

U.S. Air Force Honor Guard pallbearers carry former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Corps and Air Force veteran, to his burial site at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on June 8, 2016. Whitfield became the first active-duty U.S. military member to win gold medals in international track and field competitions when he competed at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, and in the 1951 Pan American Games. He died on Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

U.S. Air Force Honor Guard pallbearers carry former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Corps and Air Force veteran, to his burial site at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on June 8, 2016. Whitfield became the first active-duty U.S. military member to win gold medals in international track and field competitions when he competed at the 1948 Olympic Games in London, and in the 1951 Pan American Games. He died on Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard pay their final respects to former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield during a graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard pay their final respects to former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield during a graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., on June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield’s family and friends attended his graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield served in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II and then in the Air Force during the Korean War. He is survived by his daughters Nyna Konishi and Fredricka Whitfield, son Malvin Whitfield Jr., and wife Nola Whitfield. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

Former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield’s family and friends attended his graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield served in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman during World War II and then in the Air Force during the Korean War. He is survived by his daughters Nyna Konishi and Fredricka Whitfield, son Malvin Whitfield Jr., and wife Nola Whitfield. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

Malvin Whitfield, the son of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, wipes a tear from his eye during his father’s graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. In 1943, Whitfield enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman. The Tuskegee Airmen are those who joined the Army Air Forces or served as civilian support staff in the “Tuskegee Experience” from 1938 to 1946. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

Malvin Whitfield, the son of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, wipes a tear from his eye during his father’s graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. In 1943, Whitfield enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman. The Tuskegee Airmen are those who joined the Army Air Forces or served as civilian support staff in the “Tuskegee Experience” from 1938 to 1946. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

The family of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, stands during the playing of taps at Whitfield’s graveside ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

The family of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, stands during the playing of taps at Whitfield’s graveside ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard folds the American flag during a graveside ceremony for former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, and later joined the Air Force Reserve as an officer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)
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The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard folds the American flag during a graveside ceremony for former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, and later joined the Air Force Reserve as an officer. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

Members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard provide full honors for former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)
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Members of the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard provide full honors for former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)

Chaplain (Maj.) Kevin Hudson conducts the final inspection of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield’s flag before presenting it to his wife, Nola, at a graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)
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Chaplain (Maj.) Kevin Hudson conducts the final inspection of former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield’s flag before presenting it to his wife, Nola, at a graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Bryan Franks)

Chaplain (Maj.) Kevin Hudson presents the American flag to Nola Whitfield during a graveside ceremony honoring her husband, former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)
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Chaplain (Maj.) Kevin Hudson presents the American flag to Nola Whitfield during a graveside ceremony honoring her husband, former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Nola Whitfield hugs the American flag that covered the casket of her husband, former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, during his graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield served in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman, and is survived by his daughters Nyna Konishi and Fredricka Whitfield, son Malvin Whitfield Jr., and wife Nola Whitfield. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)
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Nola Whitfield hugs the American flag that covered the casket of her husband, former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, during his graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield served in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman, and is survived by his daughters Nyna Konishi and Fredricka Whitfield, son Malvin Whitfield Jr., and wife Nola Whitfield. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr.)

The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard performs a 21-gun salute during a graveside ceremony honoring former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)
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The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard performs a 21-gun salute during a graveside ceremony honoring former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Tech. Sgt. Nathan Clark plays taps during a graveside ceremony honoring former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. In 1955, Whitfield was appointed by the educational exchange program in the Department of State to tour Europe, the Middle East and Africa as a sports goodwill ambassador. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)
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Tech. Sgt. Nathan Clark plays taps during a graveside ceremony honoring former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. In 1955, Whitfield was appointed by the educational exchange program in the Department of State to tour Europe, the Middle East and Africa as a sports goodwill ambassador. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Nola Whitfield embraces her husband’s flag during the graveside ceremony honoring former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield later served as a youth and sports affairs officer for the U.S. Information Agency where he traveled to more than 132 countries and played a key role in training and developing African athletes. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)
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Nola Whitfield embraces her husband’s flag during the graveside ceremony honoring former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield later served as a youth and sports affairs officer for the U.S. Information Agency where he traveled to more than 132 countries and played a key role in training and developing African athletes. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

Nina Konishi, former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield's daughter, touches her father's casket after the graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)
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Nina Konishi, former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield's daughter, touches her father's casket after the graveside ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. Whitfield joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Joshua L. DeMotts)

The Air Force Memorial is seen in the background as former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, 91, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. In 1943, Whitfield enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman, and later joined the Air Force Reserve as an officer. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)
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The Air Force Memorial is seen in the background as former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, 91, was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Va., June 8, 2016. In 1943, Whitfield enlisted in the Army Air Forces as a Tuskegee Airman, and later joined the Air Force Reserve as an officer. He died Nov. 19, 2015, at the age of 91. (U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Alyssa C. Gibson)

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) -- The Air Force paid its final respects to former 2nd Lt. Malvin G. Whitfield, an Army Air Forces and Air Force veteran, at Arlington National Cemetery, June 8. Whitfield distinguished himself as the first U.S. military member to win Olympic gold medals while serving his country. Whitfield joined the Army Air Corps in 1943 as a Tuskegee Airman, one of more than 1,000 African-American pilots who fought in World War II.

Whitfield later served as a youth and sports affairs officer for the U.S. Information Agency. He he traveled to more than 132 countries and played a key role in training and developing African athletes.

Whitfield established the Whitfield Foundation in 1989. The organization promoted athletics around the world with scholarships, training programs and equipment donations. According to the organization’s website, the late President Ronald Reagan wrote the following about Whitfield:

"Whether flying combat missions over Korea, or winning gold medal after gold medal at the Olympics, or serving as an ambassador of goodwill among the young athletes of Africa, you have given your all. This country is proud of you, and grateful to you."

Whitfield was 91 when he died on Nov. 19, 2015.

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