HAVERTOWN, Pa. – Retired Air Force ofﬁcer Ralph Galati, who was shot down over North Vietnam and taken prisoner in 1972, received the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce at its annual membership luncheon at Llanerch Country Club on West Chester Pike.
Galati was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Force. He attended ﬂ ight training in 1970, and received his wings in 1971. He was a weapon systems ofﬁ cer and forward air controller in the F-4 Phantom aircraft, assigned to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand in the fall of 1971.
He and his pilot were shot down over North Vietnam in 1972, and were immediately captured and taken to Hanoi. He spent the next 14 months as a prisoner of war. Galati was repatriated on March 28, 1973.
Galati served as an ofﬁcer for eight years, as a ﬂ ght instructor, curriculum developer, and at the Pentagon with the Secretary of the Air Force Ofﬁce of Legislative Liaison.
Galati also worked at IBM for 28 years, served as adjunct professor and academic adviser at Widener University, Cabrini College and St. Joseph’s University.
He formerly served as the veterans liaison for Delaware County. His role included outreach efforts across the county, as well as ensuring that all Delaware County veterans and their families received the beneﬁts to which they are entitled.
Galati was the founder and former director of the Ofﬁ ce of Veterans Services at St. Joseph’s University, his alma mater. Although he’s retired, Galati continues to work on veterans’ issues through his position on the board of the Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association, and the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Galati is the host of a new TV program, “Veterans Today,” focused on delivering information and guidance to veterans to ensure they secure all eligible beneﬁts.