Alan Lurie was born in 1933 in Cleveland, Ohio. He was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program at Ohio State University on June 10, 1955, and went on active duty beginning November 15, 1955. Lt Lurie completed Undergraduate Pilot Training and was awarded his pilot wings at Goodfellow AFB, Texas, in January 1957, and then served with the 6570th Test Squadron at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, until November 1957. His next assignment was with the 6550th and 6560th Operations Squadron at Patrick AFB, Florida, from November 1957 to May 1961, and then as an alert duty officer and command post controller with the 47th Bomb Wing at RAF Sculthorpe, England, until July 1962. From July 1962 to February 1966, Capt Lurie served with the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, first at Phalsbourg AB, France, and then at Holloman AFB, New Mexico. He then deployed with the 480th TFS to Danang AB in the Republic of Vietnam, where he flew 75 combat missions before being forced to eject over North Vietnam and taken as a Prisoner of War on June 13, 1966. After spending 2,436 days in captivity, Col Lurie was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He was briefly hospitalized to recover from his injuries at March AFB, California, and then returned to flying status, serving as Executive Officer and then Commander of the 20th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron at George AFB, California, from January 1974 to August 1975. Col Lurie attended Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama, from August 1975 to June 1976, and then served on the staff of Headquarters Tactical Air Command at Langley AFB, Virginia, until August 1978. His next assignment was as deputy commander for operations of the 366th TFW at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, from August 1978 to August 1979, and then as commander of the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona, from August 1979 to June 1981. He was commander of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, from June 1981 to June 1982, and then served as deputy chief of staff for operations with 12th Air Force, also at Bergrstrom, from June to November 1982. Gen Lurie next commanded the 836th Air Division at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona, from November 1982 to September 1984, followed by service as commander of the 25th Air Division at McChord AFB, Washington, from September 1984 until his retirement from the Air Force on July 1, 1987. Gen Lurie wears Command Pilot Wings, the Missile Badge, and German Air Force Command Pilot Wings, and accumulated 5,384 flying hours during his Air Force Career.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
This officer distinguished himself by gallantry and intrepidity in action in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force 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 American 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.