Dan Doughty was born in 1933 in Ladysmith, Wisconsin. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserve on May 1, 1952, and entered the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on September 18, 1953, receiving his commission as a 2d Lt and pilot wings at Webb AFB, Texas, on December 18, 1954. Lt Doughty next completed F-86 Sabre Combat Crew Training from January to September 1955, followed by service as an F-86 pilot with the 431st Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Wheelus AB, Libya, from September 1955 to April 1957. After completing basic instructor school, he served as an instructor pilot with the 3531st Pilot Training Squadron at Bryan AFB, Texas, from June 1957 to March 1958, and then as an instructor pilot with the 3500th Pilot Training Squadron at Reese AFB, Texas, from March 1958 to July 1959. His next assignment was as an instructor pilot with the 7625th Operations Squadron at Lowry AFB, Colorado, in support of the U.S. Air Force Academy from July 1959 to July 1963, followed by RF-101 Voodoo Combat Crew Training from August to November 1963. Capt Doughty served as an RF-101 pilot with the 29th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Shaw AFB, South Carolina, from November 1963 to December 1964, and then as an RF-101 pilot with the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron at Misawa AB, Japan, from December 1964 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam while flying a temporary duty assignment to Southeast Asia on April 2, 1966. After spending 2,509 days in captivity, Col Doughty was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Scott AFB, Illinois, and then attended pilot requalification training at Randolph AFB, Texas, from October to November 1973, followed by service as Special Advisor to the Commander of the 560th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB from November 1973 to August 1974. His final assignment was as Vice Commander and then Commander of the U.S. Air Force Instrument Flight Center and then as Commander of the 3305th School Squadron at Randolph AFB from August 1974 until his retirement from the Air Force on June 1, 1976.
His 1st (of 2) Silver Star Citation reads:
Captain Daniel J. Doughty distinguished himself by gallantry in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force in North Vietnam near Dong Hoi on 2 April 1966. On that date, Captain Doughty flew the wing position in a flight of two unarmed and unescorted RF-101 Voodoo's on a reconnaissance mission deep in hostile territory. Braving adverse weather on a high speed low level penetration of hostile territory, Captain Doughty courageously disregarded his own safety to doggedly pursue his mission in the face of constant threat of antiaircraft artillery fire and deadly Surface-to-Air Missiles to photograph all assigned targets. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Captain Doughty has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.