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Education Through Preservation About the Author William H. (Bill) Slade Haitian-Tuskegee Airman

Zelle Rainey Orr

Zelle Rainey Orr is a renowned researcher, historian, consultant, author and award-winning poetess.  The mother of two daughters, Kai and Nia, she resides in Atlanta, GA. A barrier-breaker, Zellie was one of five black students to desegregate Indianola High School (Indianola, MS 1967), first black Personal Lines Underwriter of Kemper Ins. Co. (Los Angeles, CA 1977); first black female Personal Lines Underwriter, Commercial Union Ins. Co. (Atlanta, GA 1980). Pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, she studied at Los Angeles City College and San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University Northridge) and at Corporate Institutes in Long Grove, IL and Boston, MA.

Assuring the contributions of unsung heroes are remembered, Zellie’s efforts promote tangible recognition worldwide. Among these are naming of 56-unit apartment complex in honor of deceased Civil Rights Pioneer, Charlie Scattergood;  locating (60 years later) burial site of Tuskegee Airman, Quitman Walker, in Belgium; erecting of State Historical Markers; discovery of “missing” 1949 USAF Weapons Meet “Top Gun” Trophy won by 332nd FG. (Trophy’s now reposed at Nat’l Museum of USAF at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, OH and available for viewing by the more than 1.2 million visitors who tour the facility annually); dedication of Camp Creek Parkway, “Tuskegee Airmen Parkway.” The 12-mile State Highway, ending at world’s busiest airport (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport), is traveled by thousands daily.

Zellie’s contributions/credits include newspapers: New York Times, USA Today; televised media: Digital Ranch Productions (Tuskegee Airmen Aviation Dogfights via History Channel); Lucasfilm "Red Tails" Documentary (Double Victory via History Channel); NBC ‘Brian Williams Nightly News Special’ (Black And White WWII Vets Reunite); CNN (w/Fredricka Whitfield); museums and libraries: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (Wash., DC); U. S. Postal Museum (Wash., DC); Harry S. Truman Library & Museum (Independence, MO); National Cowboys of Color Museum (Ft. Worth, TX); Chanute Air Museum (Rantoul, IL); Maxwell Air Force Base Historical Research Agency (Montgomery, AL); National Park Service (Tuskegee, AL); Kennesaw State University Museum of History & Holocaust Education (Kennesaw, GA); Auburn Avenue Research Library (Atlanta, GA); books: Heroes In War – Heroes At Home: FIRST TOP GUNS; Georgia: A History of Change and Progress; Tuskegee Airmen: An Illustrated History 1939-1949.

Among her many accolades:  Nat’l Museum of The Tuskegee Airmen “Distinguished Service Award”; Alva Temple Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. “Distinguished Service & Dedication Award”; Tuskegee Airmen,Inc. “Presidential Award”; Who’s Who In America;  Who’s Who In the World.

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Zellie Rainey Orr


Author - Historian - Consultant


History as witness:

Education through Preservation


Transforming lives through research and development, Ms. Orr impacts millions annually. Her God-given skill, the unearthing of information and artifacts worldwide, has garnered exposure via books, historical markers, museums, radio and televised media…including the History Channel.

Education through Preservation leads the way in procuring tangible recognition of heroic individuals and groups, places and events, involving blacks nationwide.  Through these and other efforts, including lectures and exhibits, Ms. Orr’s guidance has bought to fruition such projects as the “Freedom School Bombing” marker (Indianola, MS), the naming of Camp Creek Parkway, “Tuskegee Airmen Parkway.” She is also a credited contributor to the Georgia 8th Grade Social Studies Textbook, “Georgia A History of Change And Progress.” Ms. Orr, a distinguished World Intellectual by the Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England, is the former National Historian of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. (TAI) and first woman President of the Atlanta Chapter Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.

Her latest reprint of “Heroes In War – Heroes At Home: FIRST TOP GUNS,” published in 2012, provides new insight regarding the “Last Hurrah” of the 332nd Fighter Group (a/k/a Tuskegee Airmen).  It also exposes a cadre of black aviation pioneers never before depicted. Among these…a recipient of 63 honorary doctorate degrees, another who completed advance pilot training flying with the Chinese.  This non-fiction saga, by a black woman whose perseverance (fifty-five years later) unearthed the “missing” 1949 USAF Gunnery Meet (Top Gun) trophy, raises the bar in American history.



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For details call (404) 376-1353 or via e-mail orrz@bellsouth.net



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The William H. (Bill) Slade Story (Interview, May 21, 2011)

In the Summer of 1941, along with twelve others that included Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Bill Slade was inducted into the first military pilot training class, 42-C, at Tuskegee. You are privy to watch the first ever interview of this American military aviation trailblazer.

(Courtesy of Charles Leigh, Jr., Producer)

Haitian-Tuskegee Airman, Raymond Cassagnol, Receives Medal (April 6, 2010).

During World War II, five Haitians earned their pilot wings at Tuskegee. Of the five, Raymond (Class 43-G), was the first to earn his wings. After graduating, they returned to Haiti and flying AT-6’ Texans, patrolled the shorelines.  Through their daylight submarine hunts, they helped to eliminate the food supply to the Nazis by way of the Caribbean. Thus, the Haitian-Tuskegee Airmen contributed to war's success.

(Courtesy of Nia Haley Orr, Producer)


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