08/01/2020 – CHARLOTTE, N.C. – --
On August 1st, 2020, U.S. Air Force Colonel Bryony A. Terrell relinquishes command as Wing Commander of the 145th Airlift Wing after leading the Airmen of the North Carolina Air National Guard through their transition in mission from flying C-131 Hercules to C-17 Globemaster III aircraft. A third generation Air Force pilot, Col. Terrell is headed to the National Guard Bureau as a Joint Planner of the Chief National Guard Bureau.
Col. Terrell’s legacy began in the Carolinas decades ago with her great-great uncle Frank Terrill, who trained with Wilbur and Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
While Col. Terrell does not have a lot of information about Frank Terrill’s career, she shares what she knows.
“We spelled it differently back then,” Col. Terrell explains. “The generation after him, morphed the name, and changed the spelling to T-e-r-r-e-l-l.”
Frank Terrill attended one of the first Wright Brothers pilot training classes. Upon completion of the course, he purchased a Wright Flier that the famous aviators and innovators were selling. From there, Frank Terrill went to farm shows and state fairs. Terrill flew the Wright Flier around the country!
“He would take it apart, put it on a flatbed, put it (back) together and then fly it around for exhibition,” Col. Terrell says. “Its (aviation) been a legacy in our family; a piece of history.”
Regarding the photo of Frank Terrill, seated in his flier, at a South Carolina State fair, with the family name on the plane, Col. Terrell says, “It’s really cool for me to see that picture with our name on the tail flash and that legacy of aviation.”
Col. Terrell’s paternal Grandfather, Master Sgt. Retired (Ret.) Howard Terrell was in the Army Air Corp, and later joined the Air Force. He was one of the first members of the U.S. Air Force band, and of the, “Airmen of Note.” Master Sgt. Ret. Terrell turns 100 this year, and he is active. “He is still writing marches and still writing music,” said Col. Terrell. “When I took command here, he wrote a march for me.” Col. Terrell’s father, Lt. Col. Ret. Royce Terrell, was an Air Force rescue pilot and flew in Vietnam.
“The opportunity to come here and serve in North Carolina is phenomenal. It is like the ‘circle of life.’ It started with my uncle Frank, and his love for aviation and this has led to generations of the Terrell family in flying, and in service to the country,” states Col. Terrell. “I have now had the opportunity to fly and serve in the Carolinas. It’s not something that I planned or thought out. The stars aligned to allow me this experience.”
As she departs for her new assignment, Col. Terrell reflects on her experience with the North Carolina Air National Guard.
“I’m really proud of my serving here and my time working with folks of the North Carolina National Guard and the North Carolina Air National Guard. The 145th has a reputation for excellence. Coming out here there were many people who told me along the way about their interactions and their dealings with the 145th and they have all been positive. It has been the pinnacle for my career to be able to serve among such professionals,” Col. Terrell affirms. “It’s been an honor to be a part of this.”
Colonel Terrell states, “I think it is important that we continue to move forward. We have proven ourselves with this mission. We need to continue to professionalize and invest in our young Airmen who will continue in this legacy.”