GALANTI, PAUL EDWARD
Name: Paul Edward Galanti
Rank/Branch: O3/United States Navy/pilot
Unit: VA 216
Date of Birth: 11 July 1939
Home City of Record: Lodi NJ
Date of Loss: 17 June 1966
Country of Loss: North Vietnam
Loss Coordinates: 191500N 1054600E
Status (in 1973): Returnee
Aircraft/Vehicle/Ground: A4C #149528
Incident No: 0364
Other Personnel in Incident: none
Source: Compiled by P.O.W. NETWORK March 1997 from one or more of the
following: raw data from U.S. Government agency sources, correspondence with
POW/MIA families, published sources, interviews. Update 2008.
REMARKS: 730212 RELEASED BY DRV
SOURCE: WE CAME HOME copyright 1977
Captain and Mrs. Frederic A Wyatt (USNR Ret), Barbara Powers Wyatt, Editor
P.O.W. Publications, 10250 Moorpark St., Toluca Lake, CA 91602
Text is reproduced as found in the original publication (including date and
UPDATE - 09/95 by the P.O.W. NETWORK, Skidmore, MO
PAUL E. GALANTI
Lieutenant Commander- United States Navy
Shot Down: June 17, 1966
Released: February 12, 1973
"My nearly seven years of captivity could be summed up in the space of a
postage stamp. But I learned a valuable lesson in appreciation."
The years of zero in Commander Galanti's life began when he was shot down on
June 17, 1966 near Vinh, North Vietnam. His A-4 Skyhawk was hit after an
attack on a railroad siding and, although he could see the rescue destroyers
off-shore, his plane went out of control before he could reach them.
He ejected from his plane, was captured, taken North to Hanoi and paraded in
the infamous "Hanoi March". "This was ostensibly a 'spontaneous demonstration'
on the part of the Vietnamese," says Galanti. "However, as we left the park,
the blindfolds were removed, we were handcuffed in pairs and marched into the
street. The first thing I saw was a bunch of political cadres with megaphones
inciting the people. At the end of the first block there was a big truck with
movie equipment in it to play this spectacle up. A man came running up from
the side, gave me a soccer-like kick in the groin and I went down in a heap.
There was so much yelling it sounded like Notre Dame scoring a touchdown at
South Bend. It lasted about forty five minutes. They finally got us to a
soccer stadium, where they had trucks waiting, then took us back to the
In addition to the physical tortures, Commander Galanti was subjected to an
agonizing session after "violating the prison regulations." Having received
two letters and a package from Phyllis, he assumed it was a special deal to
make him look bad in the eyes of his fellow POW's. In order to show that such
was not the case, he threw a package of Lifesavers to one of the other cells
in the bath-house. A guard saw and reported it. For this he was made to sit on
a small stool in an interrogation room during the coldest part of the year. He
sat there for ten days and nights, drugged and deprived of sleep, before being
forced to apologize to the camp commander.
Although these and other individual torture stories often seemed the result of
individual North Vietnamese actions, Galanti warns Americans not to forget
that the overall goal of Communism is world domination. "It often got blackest
just after they started smiling," he says.
Optimism helped Galanti most in surviving his ordeal. "I think it s human
nature . America human nature any way. The fact that they stopped the sleep
deprivation period and let me go on living was a good sign that I'd
probably be going home someday. When the bombing stopped that would be a
good sign. When it started up again that would be a good sign. I
sincerely believe that optimism is the basis of all faith and without
it I'd probably have gone crazy.
"I was born in New Jersey and raised in an Army family. I graduated from
Valley Forge Military Academy in 1957 and the U.S. Naval Academy in 1962.
Phillis and I were married in August 1963 and I received my Navy wings shortly
My Dad taught me that you must have goals-an overall goal and smaller goals in
between. My lifelong goal was to be a pilot; the smaller ones were to finish
elementary school then high school then enter college and finally to finish
flight training. During captivity the Code of Conduct was my goal. Sometimes
pretty tough to live up to the Code was the standard the goal to strive for."
Galanti finished flight training refresher in November 1973. He served a tour
in Navy Recruiting in Richmond, Virginia pushing optimism in over 200
presentations to schools churches and civic groups. He is currently attending
Graduate School at the University of Richmond. Paul and Phyllis Galanti
reside a few miles from the University in Richmond's scenic West End.
Paul Galanti retired from the United States Navy as a Commander. He and his
wife Phyllis reside in Virginia. They are active in the ex-pow organization
Sunday, February 15, 1998
AN EX-POW REFLECTS, A QUARTER CENTURY OUT Paul Galanti of Richmond spent 6
1/2 years in North Vietnamese prison camps. He reflects here on his
experiences on the 25th anniversary of his release from captivity.
"This can't be happening to me," .....
35 Years After Shoot-Down:
Ex-POW Reflects on Life After Hanoi
Jun 17, 2001
June 17, 1966. Thirty-five years ago. Not much of note
happened that day. The murder of three people in a bar in Patterson, New
Jersey, allegedly by boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, dominated the domestic
newsfront. The Chief of Naval Operations approved a plan to reduce the time
in overhaul for nuclear submarines (that ultimately was suspected as a cause
of the sinking of the USS Scorpion several years later). It was just another
"ho-hum" day for many Americans......
Paul E. Galanti
Inducted 12 Nov 2005 into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame.
Inducted in 2005, Paul E. Galanti began his flying career at the U.S.
Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1962. He immediately
entered Navy jet flight training at Naval Air Station Pensacola,
Florida and completed advanced flight training at Naval Air Station
Beeville, Texas. In 1963 he received his Naval wings and was chosen
to be a flight instructor at Pensacola. In November 1964 Paul was
assigned to the Navy Light Jet Attack Squadron 216 (VA-216), flying
the A4-C Skyhawk and was based aboard the carrier USS Hancock. In
November of 1965 the USS Hancock departed for Southeast Asia. On
June 17, 1966 while conducting an attack on a railroad siding near
Vinh, North Vietnam, Paul was shot down and taken prisoner. He had
flown 97 combat missions. He was released from prison nearly 7 years
later on February 12, 1973. Following a rehabilitation period at the
Naval Hospital in Portsmouth, Va., he was assigned to the Navy
Recruiting District in Richmond as an Executive Officer. He then was
assigned CO of the Richmond Recruiting district and set new records
as Chief Recruiter in Virginia. In 1979 Paul retired from the Navy.
In 1983 he became the first non-pharmacist Executive Director of the
Virginia Pharmaceutical Association in its 100 year history and
initiated many innovations in his 9 year tenure. He is currently in
charge of marketing and external affairs for Eye-Q, UC, a web
application developer. He is author and webmaster of the NAM-POW
webpage and holds many awards for his military service and for his
work in the civilian sector. He is also a motivational speaker and
has spoken to over 1300 groups, including school children and
Virginia War Memorial opens
Galanti Education Center
The Virginia War Memorial officially opened the Paul and
Phyllis Galanti Education Center on Friday, September 17 —
which also happened to be
National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Galanti center to open at Virginia War Memorial