He reported for work at Fiumicino International Airport, (Leonardo DiVinci Airport, Rome) like any other day, but this would not be. It is December 17, 1973, and Pan American World Airways N407PA Boeing 707 "Clipper Celestial" was fully loaded with passengers and crew. Lead Mechanic and Supervising Engineer Servilio "Silvio" Galletti was on the flight deck, signing off on the logbook when terrorists boarded and exploded a bomb into the aircraft.
Hit by shrapnel and injured, Silvio opened the cockpit door and fully entered the smoke filled and burning aircraft to assist crew in opening the emergency exit door over the wing, and getting the remaining passengers out of the jet.
No one in the front of the plane survived. All other passengers escaped, with the guidance of the crew and Mr Galletti.
Diego Galletti "I remember very well that day: I was at school and my mother came to pick me up earlier...Once out of the building, she told me that my dad was in the hospital after he survived a terrorist attack at the airport. I am very proud of what he did that day: he kept saying he wanted to help more people to egress , but for some the startle and the fear blocked every action...and they perished...I remember he wanted to leave the hospital earlier in order to spend the Christmas holiday with the family, but being wounded by schrapnel, I volunteered to clean its scars and wounds every day ...it was the best Christmas Eve I can remember...And I feel very sorry for the ones who did not have the same luck and lost their beloved ones..."
We thank his son who followed in his fathers aviation footsteps (diego7675 Instagram) for sharing the personal photographs.