Dale Doss was born in 1936 in Birmingham, Alabama. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Reserve on June 23, 1954, and was commissioned an Ensign in the U.S. Navy on June 2, 1958, going on active duty beginning June 8, 1958. Ens Doss attended Basic Naval Aviation Observer School and Air Navigation School from June 1958 to June 1960, followed by service as a transport navigator with VR-3 of the Military Air Transport Service at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, from July 1960 to June 1963. His next assignment was as an instructor in the Basic Naval Aviation Observer School from July 1963 to July 1966, and he then attended RA-5C Vigilante replacement air group training with RVAH-3 at NAS Sanford, Florida, and A-6 Intruder bombardier/navigator training with VA-42 at NAS Oceana, Virginia, from August 1966 to March 1967. LCDR Doss served as an A-6A bombardier/navigator with VA-35 at NAS Oceana and deployed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVAN-65) from April to June 1967, and from July 1967 until he was forced to eject over North Vietnam and was taken as a Prisoner of War on March 17, 1968. After spending 1,824 days in captivity, he was released during Operation Homecoming on March 14, 1973. CDR Doss was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries, and then served as Special Assistant to the Commander of Navy Recruiting Area III from June 1973 to July 1974. He attended Navy Recruiting School at NAS Pensacola, Florida, from July to August 1974, and then served as Chief Staff Officer of Navy Recruiting Area I from August 1974 to June 1975. His next assignment was as Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting District Montgomery, Alabama, from June 1975 to June 1978, followed by service as Commanding Officer of Navy Recruiting District Miami, Florida, from June 1978 to January 1980. Capt Doss' final assignment was as Deputy Inspector General with the Commander, Navy Recruiting Command Inspector General's Office at NTC Orlando, Florida, from January 1980 until his retirement from the Navy on March 1, 1983.
His 2nd Silver Star Citation reads:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. In November 1968, his captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.