The Wings Club, a New York City-based aviation club, will honor the Tuskegee Airmen with the new Outstanding Aviator Award.
The Outstanding Aviator Award was created this year by the Wings Club in partnership with the International Association of Women in Aviation (IAWA) to recognize pilots whose actions have made major contributions to aviation and/or security and serve as leadership role models.
The presentation of this first award will take place at The Wings Club’s Annual Meeting, slated for March 23, at The Yale Club in New York City. Dave Barger, president of The Wings Club and Ken Gazzola, past president and chairman of the historical and educational committee, will present the Award to Patt Terrelongue, president of the Claude B. Govan Tri-State Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, and six select decorated members of the Tuskegee Airmen, who will be in attendance: Captain Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., Ph.D., commanding officer of the 100th Fighter Squadron; First Sergeant Samuel Wesley Henderson, 99th Fighter Squadron; Combat Technical Sergeant Wilfred R. DeFour, Sr., 96th Service Group, 366th Air Service Group and 332nd Fighter Service Group; Lieutenant Colonel Clayton F. Lawrence, navigator-bombardier, 477th Bomb Group; Major Victor Terrelonge, combat fighter pilot, 302nd Fighter Squadron; and Lieutenant William M. Wheeler, combat fighter pilot, 302nd Fighter Squadron.
The Tuskegee Airmen, who fought in World War II as the 332nd Fighter Group of the US Army Air Corps were the first African American military aviators to serve in the US Armed Forces. From 1941 to 1946, a total of 994 pilots were trained in the Tuskegee program and approximately 445 of those deployed overseas. Their impressive combat record and remarkable success in missions as bomber escorts in Europe earned the airmen multiple Distinguished Unit Citations (DUCs), several Silver Stars, 150 Distinguished Flying Crosses, eight Purple Hearts, 14 Bronze Stars and 744 Air Medals. In 2007, The Tuskegee Airmen were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, presented by President George W. Bush.
For more information: 212-867-1770 or WingsClub.org.