Military funeral set for 'Marvelous Mal' Whitfield

AP News
Posted: Jun 08, 2016 8:22 AM
Military funeral set for 'Marvelous Mal' Whitfield

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A standard military honors funeral service is scheduled for Mal Whitfield, a Tuskegee airman who won Olympic track and field titles and served for decades as a sports affairs officer for the U.S. Information Agency.

Arlington National Cemetery said in a news release that the funeral will be conducted Wednesday. Whitfield, 91, died in November at the VA hospital in Washington.

Nicknamed "Marvelous Mal," Whitfield joined the Army Air Force in 1943. He was a member of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group at Lockbourne AFB in Ohio, and flew 27 combat missions during the Korean War.

The first service member to win a gold medal while on active duty, Whitfield also helped the U.S. win the 1,600 meter relay title in 1948. He successfully defended his 800 meter title in 1952.