A "hometown hero" is being recognized on a community welcome sign in a Tioga County hamlet.

Astronaut Doug Hurley grew up in Apalachin. His name had been displayed prominently on a Route 434 gateway sign in the hamlet up until about two years ago. The sign was removed after it was damaged by strong winds in July 2021.

The original "Apalachin, NY" sign off Route 434 in Tioga County as it appeared in August 2018. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
The original "Apalachin, NY" sign off Route 434 in Tioga County as it appeared in August 2018. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The sign had been erected decades earlier by the Apalachin Lions Club. After it was taken down, club members decided to replace it.

The new sign was installed on the state-owned site at Route 434 and West Main Street last November.

Apalachin residents liked the replacement sign but some noted it did not include Hurley's name. That issue has been addressed.

Douglas Hurley's name is back on a welcome sign in his childhood hometown of Apalachin. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
Douglas Hurley's name is back on a welcome sign in his childhood hometown of Apalachin. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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An addition was installed to the display a few weeks ago. It reads: "Home of NASA Astronaut Douglas G. Hurley." It features the space agency's logo on the left side and the American flag on the right side.

Hurley was born at Ideal Hospital in Endicott in 1966. He graduated from Owego Free Academy in 1984. He piloted the last space shuttle flight and commanded the first crewed SpaceX mission.

Hurley retired from NASA in 2021. He was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor last January.

former NASA astronaut Douglas Hurley was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. (Photo: Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images)
Former NASA astronaut Douglas Hurley was awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris on January 31, 2023. (Photo: Joel Kowsky/NASA via Getty Images)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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