Neerja Bhanot was the Senior Flight attendant on the infamous 1986 Pan Am Flight 73.
The plane was scheduled to fly from Mumbai to the United States, but before takeoff four hijackers boarded the plane at Karachi airport in Pakistan and held 380 passengers and 13 crew members hostage at gun point for over 17 hours.
When the hijackers demanded the passports of the Americans on board to take those passengers as collateral for a trade, Bhanot hid the passports under seat cushions, flushed them down the toilet and threw them down the trash shoot.
Unable to decipher the American passengers from non-American passengers the situation escalated as the hijackers began shooting and detonating explosives.
Bhanot deployed the emergency escape doors and began frantically guiding passengers out of the plane. One of the last to remain, a hijacker grabbed her by her ponytail and shot her point-blank while she was shielding three American children from gunfire.
She died one day before her 22nd birthday. She saved the majority of the passengers and the flight crew and she is a hero.