Hubert Buchanan was born in 1941 in Scottsburg, Indiana. After graduating from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he entered Officer Training School on February 14, 1964, earning his commission as a 2d Lt in the U.S. Air Force at Lackland AFB, Texas, on May 12, 1964. Lt Buchanan next attended Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Laredo AFB, Texas, in June 1965, followed by Pilot Systems Operator Training and F-4 Phantom II Combat Crew Training from June to December 1965. His next assignment was as an F-4 Pilot Systems Operator with the 16th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Eglin AFB, Florida, from December 1965 to August 1966, followed by service as an F-4 Pilot Systems Operator with the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Ubon Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from August 1966 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on September 16, 1966. After spending 2,362 days in captivity, Capt Buchanan was released during Operation Homecoming on March 4, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, and then left active duty on August 10, 1973.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.