Florence man recounts his role in getting Apollo 11 to the moon

Jim Traglia's role in Apollo 11

FLORENCE, AL (WAFF) - The 50th anniversary of man landing on the moon is a special day for all of us, but it’s even more special for one local man who actually helped make it happen.

Jim Traglia of Florence spent much of his life as a Rocket Engine Specialist. His responsibility – loading the “hypergol,” or the ignition base that starts a rocket engine’s propulsion system. He completed this very complex task for all of the Saturn Vs, including the famous Apollo 11 that helped put Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon.

Traglia remembers the moment he first heard the news of Apollo 11’s successful landing, saying he and his coworkers “didn’t have champagne” but “met in the backyard and started celebrating with beer.” Traglia is planning to soon reunite with some of the men who helped complete the mission to celebrate their accomplishment from 50 years ago.

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