KANEOHE, HI, UNITED STATES
KANEOHE, Hawaii - Romaine Goldsborough, a documented original Tuskegee Airman, was laid to rest at a ceremony at the Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery in Kaneohe, Hawaii, Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Goldsborough finished his career in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a master sergeant. He was one of the first African-American military airmen, from Tuskegee Army Air Field, Ala., and served as a mechanic with the 332nd Fighter Group, which served in Italy during World War II.
According to Alphonso Braggs, president of the Honolulu chapter of the NAACP, Goldsborough, and men like him, humbly paved the way for future generations of minorities.
“He certainly didn’t consider himself to be a hero,” said Braggs. “We feel he is a national treasure, simply because he epitomized what is duty, honor and courage amidst all odds. He stood tall as the gentle giant against racism [and] suppression, [we enjoy] rights and benefits in the work place and opportunities to serve in equal positions, across our military and as good stewards of the community.”
As Braggs interacted with Goldsborough before his passing, he said he was certainly humble, and while he never came out and said it, he could tell the trailblazer “was certainly proud of the fact that they overcame a number of [barriers], and despite those barriers, you could still charge ahead.”
The barriers Goldsborough overcame and the paths he forged decades ago are not lost on today’s generation of service members.
“To know he got the proper military send off and to be the last military piece in his life, that he and his family [will] possess, is an honor,” said U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Heath McManama, assigned to the 45th Support Battalion at Schofield Barracks. “To do honors for such a great man who had so many great accomplishments makes our job a little more rewarding at the end.”
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