First Active Duty Gold Medal Winner Buried at Arlington

Mal Whitfield won two gold medals in the 1948 Summer Games

Mal Whitfield, a track and field star who was the first U.S. military service member to win an Olympic gold medal while on active duty, was buried Wednesday at Arlington National Cemetery.

Whitfield, who died in November in Washington, D.C., at age 91, won two gold medals in the 1948 Summer Games while serving on active duty as a member of the Air Force. He won the 800 meters and was a member of the champion 1,600-meter relay team. He also won a bronze medal for the 400 meters.

In 1952, he won the 800-meter title again and also took home a silver medal as part of the 1,600-meter relay team.

Whitfield joined the Army Air Force in 1943 as a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen and then attended Ohio State University. He completed 27 combat missions as an aerial gunner during the Korean War and was honorably discharged in 1952.

In 1956, he worked as an adviser for physical education and sports in Monrovia, Liberia.

He was the father of CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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