Greetings from Chapter President Patt Terrelongue
Patt Terrelongue served as President of the Claude B. Govan Tri-State Chapter, Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., for five (5) years, and resumed the office in 2021. She is also a Heritage member and past National Board Member of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI). Both parents, and godparents took part in what is now known as the Tuskegee Airmen Experience.
While attending the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony, she decided to join the local chapter of TAI in 2007, for the purpose of teaching the history and life lessons of the Airmen to our children. Little did she know, the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen (DOTAs) would pursue her to become their President. Not a day goes by that she does not thank her parents for all the lessons they taught, (e.g., not to make excuses because excuses are for losers; put her right foot forward; hold her head high; do not associate with naysayers and believe she can accomplish anything she puts her mind to). It is these lessons that guide Patt in her work on behalf of the Airmen here in New York. Some of her accomplishments are:
- Retained the Grand Marshall position for DOTA Spann Watson, in the NYC Veterans Day Parade, in 2009.
- Secured the Veterans Day Parade Float for the Tuskegee Airmen, which included the cast from Black Angels Over Tuskegee; Actor, Cuba Gooding, Jr.; Reporter, AJ from NBC’s, EXTRA EXTRA and the Tuskegee Airmen Race Car.
- Wrote the proposal to have the 100thStreet Bus Depot renamed in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen who after WWII entered service with NYC Transit. The Tuskegee Airmen Depot has a six (6) foot plaque hanging in their honor, and the replica of the Congressional Gold Medal resides on the building and on each bus; she also had the American Flag flown to the 332ndAir Base in Iraq and returned, where it now flies over the Tuskegee Airmen Depot along with an EAGLE.
- Along with Chapter members, a Post Office building renamed in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, located in Manhattan.
- Supported the renaming of Oak Street to Tuskegee Airmen Way, in Nassau County; supported NYC Council Bill to rename South Road to Tuskegee Airmen Way with cross streets renamed after deceased Airmen (Lonely Eagles) who once resided in Queens. In addition, the cross streets (approved by the NYC Council) to bear the names of other Black Units who served during WWII (e.g., Harlem Hell Fighters). Currently, the chapter has two new co-naming streets named after Dabney Montgomery and Bill Pease.
- Honored by many organizations for her work with the Airmen, some of which are: Veteran’s Action Group; The First Outstanding Aviator’s Award presented by The Wings Club & IAWA; MTA and NYC Transit; NYC Office of the Controller; and the 369thVeterans Association Achievement Award in 2012.
The members of our chapter build on the accomplishments of the Airmen by preserving their history and exposing people around the world to the lessons of the past, as well as to opportunities for the future in the career fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Among with the many other things we do, i.e, annually provide Tuition assistance to deserving high school seniors, who demonstrate the desire and a promise t., follow in the footsteps o the Airmen. Six Student Members, one a pilot, another had her first lesson in 2018 and is now with the Civil Air Patrol, plus six tuition students sent to Dallas, Texas, Southwest Airlines Program and three to Chicago, IL to attend the Adopt a Pilot. This is our legacy, our cause, our obligation and our passion.