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Uli Derickson
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Hero
    (August 8, 1944-February 18, 2005)
    Born in Aussig an der Elbe, Czech Republic
    Birth name was Ulrike Patzelt
    Flight attendant on TWA Flight 847 when two hijackers working for Hezbollah commandeered the plane (June 14, 1985)
    The Athens to Rome flight was diverted and flown five times between Beirut and Algiers
    Credited with helping protect 152 passengers and crew members (with one fatality)
    Subject of the 1988 TV movie 'The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story,' with Lindsay Wagner (she acted as consultant)
    First woman to receive the Silver Cross for Valor
    Died of cancer at age 60
    She was thrust into a crisis because she was the only one who could speak German (the only language one of the two hijackers understood).
    She ranged in emotions from calmness to uncontrollable crying.
    One of the hijackers asked her to marry him.
    Years after the ordeal she had a falling out with TWA and switched to Delta Airlines.
    As a child she fled with her mother at great risk from East to West Germany.
    At the start of the hijacking one of the thugs kicked her square in the chest.
    She gained enough of the hijackers' trust to secure the release of 17 elderly woman and two kids during the first day.
    When Algiers refused to refuel the plane for flight back to Beirut without payment she paid for the fuel herself ($5,500 worth) with her Shell credit card.
    It was erroneously reported she helped the thugs single out Jewish passengers.
    Though one U.S. Navy diver was killed she talked the hijackers out of killing two others by yelling 'Enough! Enough!' until the beatings stopped.
    When one of the hijackers was captured and put on trail in 1987, she testified against him though receiving death threats.
    She was later asked to teach seminars on crisis management techniques with TWA, Delta and the FBI.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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