LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Tuskegee Airman turned civil rights activist will be laid to rest with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

Family, friends and fellow soldiers gave a final salute to Raymond Johnson Sr., who died on New Year’s Eve. He was 89.

Johnson was a fighter pilot with the Tuskegee Airman, the military’s first African American pilots, who went on to work as a medical professional, an attorney and a judge. His wife, Evelyn, says he was outspoken against discrimination against and segregation of black doctors.

While working as a medical professional in the 1960’s, he went on TV to talk about civil rights.

“He went to work the next morning and the hospital administrator met him in the corridor. And he said, ‘I saw you on television last night. And I just want you to know, we will no longer need your services,'” Evelyn Johnson said.

During the Watts Riots, he offered his legal services to those arrested for free, Raymond Johnson Jr. said of his father.

“I remember calls that would come late, in the middle of the night, from individuals who had been arrested and had problems,” Johnson said. “And he would get his clothes on and he would go out and he would help them.”

Johnson was among the Tuskegee Airmen awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007 and will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

Comments (8)
  1. 1932 says:

    You are my hero. RIP

  2. Ronnie White says:

    Those of us who served or are serving in the USAF or ARMY stood on the shoulders of GIANTS like this man. Thank you Mr Johnson an Mrs Johnson sorry didn’t know your rank sir an mam but you have left a legacy for generations to follow and I as one of those Airmen who served although as a ground pounder salute you and your wife. To the son you have big shoes to step into but it may take you a life time to fill. May God Bless your entire family and the next time I get to the DC area an visit Arlington I will make it a point to find where your body lies until our Lord comes to receive his own. Respectfully TSgt (ret) R. E. White USAF SECURITY FORCES/DEFENSOR FORTIS

  3. John Charles Harman says:

    A lot of WWII vets never have there stories told and history is sometimes skewed but we owe them our FREEDOM. RIP. I am writing the story of my Uncle Glen, 88Yrs old dying of COPD, broke and in a rest home in LA.
    Read it hear at

  4. Dark Knight says:

    God Bless! Truly a hero who served in the company of heroes!

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