Thomas R. Battista
Tom was born in 1948 and grew up in Rye. He is an Eagle Scout, a graduate of Resurrection School ‘62, Stepinac HS ‘66 and Iona College ‘70…later Tom received a Master’s degree from Webster University, MO. ’83.
Before entering the Armed Forces, Tom enjoyed playing as a Rock Drummer performing with the Intruders and The Casuals both from Rye. The Intruders won the 1965 Westchester County Battle of the Bands. In 1967 with the Casuals, he played drums on the billboard single “Under My Umbrella.”
After completing Officer Training School (OTS) Tom received an officer’s commission to 2LT (’71) and then graduated from USAF Flight School (UPT), Columbus MS and pinned on his pilot wings.
Tom flew numerous C-130E combat missions in Vietnam, Cambodia and Southeast Asia and was awarded the Air Medal for Meritorious Achievement in Flight.
After his overseas tour Tom taught as T-37 Flight Instructor Pilot at the USAF Flight Training (UPT) Wing at Moody AFB, GA and also as a T-37 Flight Instructor Pilot at the Pilot Instructor Training School (PIT) Randolph AFB, TX.
Tom was then assigned as C5A Flight Instructor at USAF C5 Flight School Altus AFB, OK
From Dover AFB DE, Tom flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm (1990-91) and was awarded the Air Medal W/ Oak Leaf Custer.
The LtCol was a C5A Instructor Flight Examiner Pilot & refueling Instructor Pilot and achieved Senior Command Pilot Rating. He retired on Dec 1, 1991.
After military service he piloted DC-10s, B-727s, B-757s, and B-767s for American Airlines.
Tom is an avid golfer and at RGC is a two-time Senior Club Champion, two-time Super Senior Club Champion, and twice runner-up in the Club Championship .
Tom learned golf from his father and as a teenage caddie at the Apawamis Club in Rye.
In the summer of 2021, he shot his age (73) at Rye Golf Club – a memorable achievement!