Norlan Daughtrey was born on October 5, 1933, in Eagle Pass, Texas. He enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on March 26, 1954, and was commissioned a 2d Lt and awarded his pilot wings on June 30, 1955. Daughtrey flew fighters with the Air Force until July 1958, when he left active duty and went into the Texas Air National Guard. He transferred to the New Mexico Air National Guard in May 1959, and then returned to Active duty on November 20, 1963, and was assigned to the 563rd Tactical Fighter Squadron at McConnell AFB, Kansas. Capt Daughtrey served with the 563rd from November 1963 to June 1965. He began flying combat missions with the 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kadena AB, Okinawa, in July 1965, and he was shot down while flying his 16th combat mission on August 2, 1965. After spending 2,751 days in captivity, Maj Daughtrey was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at Sheppard AFB, Texas, and then received an Air Force Institute of Technology assignment to the University of New Mexico before retiring from the Air Force on May 7, 1975. Col Daughtrey died on July 20, 2005, and was buried at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
For the Period 31 July 1966 to 9 September 1966: This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force during the above period while a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam. Ignoring international agreements on treatment of prisoners of war, the enemy resorted to mental and physical cruelties to obtain information, confessions, and propaganda materials. This individual resisted their demands by calling upon his deepest inner strengths in a manner which reflected his devotion to duty and great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.