General Tony Verrengia entered the USAF Aviation Cadet Program in 1952, and was commissioned a 2/LT in November 1954. He was a Master Navigator, that served in air transport operations positions for many years. During his flying assignments, he participated in numerous humanitarian missions such as the Hungarian Airlift, the research and development of the Arctic Dewline Defense Network, and in combat support operations during the Vietnam War.
During his career, he served in command and staff positions at all levels of command, from the squadron level up to the air staff, in logistics, operations, and planning roles.
He was a graduate of the Air Command and Staff School, the Air War College, and was an Honor Graduate of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
General Verrengia was a pioneer in the manned spaceflight programs of NASA for over 25 years, including holding key staff positions in the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, and the Space Shuttle program management offices. From 1983-84 he served on the interagency task force in Washington D.C. that obtained President Reagan’s approval to proceed with the International Space Station development.
After retirement, General Verrengia was employed by the McDonnel Douglas and GE corporations and was a consultant to the European Space Agency on the Hermes Spaceplane and Columbus Space Station projects.
The General had received numerous military decorations and NASA awards. In 1983, for his work on the Space Shuttle program planning, he was honored by the Sons of Italy in America with its highest honor, the Marconi Award. In 1987 he was knighted by the Republic of Italy as a Cavallieri Ufficiali, for his work in assisting the Italian government in creating its new space agency.
General Verrengia passed away May 17, 2018. He is survived by his wife (Shirley Stacy), three grown children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.