(Indian Beach, NC) - John Franklin Daughtry, 83, died New Year’s day.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 am Sunday at Munden Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will follow the service.
Born June 17, 1930 in Rocky Mount to the late George Denmark Daughtry and Evelyn Worsely Daughtry, he graduated from New Hanover High School in Wilmington, then East Carolina University, where he played football and captained the Pirates his senior year. He remained lifelong fan and avid supporter of the ECU football program, Pirates Club and Alumni Association. Commisioned as a USAF Second Lieutenant upon graduation in 1954, he married his college sweetheart, Alice Roberson Daughtry who preceded him in death in 2003 after 49 years of marriage. They both taught school in Ahoskie, with John teaching and coaching football until his call to active duty. John reported to Pilot Training at Goodfellow AFB, Texas in 1955 and graduated the next year. Alice and John would eventually raise four children on three continents.
John spent the majority of his 29 years in the Air Force flying C-130’s and responding to contingency operations on the world stage, including the Congo, Lebanon, the Dominican Republic and in Southeast Asia. On May 1, 1960, he waited in Bodo, Norway for Gary Power’s U-2 to land and to fly the aircraft’s film to Germany for processing. In 1962, he transported the Spaceship Sigma 7 and several of the Mercury astronauts from Midway Island to Patrick Air Force Base, Florida after Walter Schirra’s successful flight and landing. That same year, he played a minor role as a soldier in the Cinemascope epic “Merrill’s Marauders” based on the exploits of the Long-Range Jungle Warfare Unit in Burma during WWII.
In 1964/65, Captain Daughtry flew combat resupply missions in Vietnam while based at Mactan Island in the Philippines. In the late 1960s, he served in the Requirements section of the Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley AFB, VA, writing future airlift requirements which were later incorporated into the designs of the YC-14, YC-15 and C-17 aircraft.
The early 70’s found now-Major Daughtry & family in Japan while he worked as the 5th Air Force Commander’s Pilot, flying Generals, diplomats, Senators and Congressmen throughout Asia during their visits to that theater. In 1972, he scaled Mt. Fuji with his oldest son and daughter. In April 1975, as an AC-130 gunship Squadron Commander, he participated in Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind, providing combat air support for the evacuations of Phnom Pehn, Cambodia and Saigon, Vietnam. A month later, the now Lt. Colonel Daughtry found himself over Koh Tang island in Cambodia, providing fire support to US Marines who had landed on the island in response to the boarding and capture of the SS Mayaguez and its civilian crew. During the subsequent evacuation, he may have fired the last shots of the conflict in Southeast Asia. He was awarded the Meritorius Service Medal for his performanceIn the late 70’s, he worked in the operations section of the Defense Nuclear Agency outside Washington, DC and then was assigned to Pope AFB, NC where he inspected Reserve and Guard Units flying the C-130 aircraft until his retirement in 1984. John returned to teaching at Southern Pines middle school until his second retirement, when he and Alice relocated to New Bern and Indian Beach, NC.
He is survived by his second wife of seven years Margo Daughtry. He is also survived by sister Elizabeth Brashear of Pheonix, Arizona, son (Lt. Col. USAF, Ret.) John, F. Daughtry, Jr. of Honduras, daughter Anna Daughtry Dancy (Brian) of Greensboro, NC, son Robert S. Daughtry (Merit) of High Point, NC, grandaughter Lauren Daughtry of Gastonia, NC, grandson Kilian Daughtry and (mother Sabina Daughtry) of Simpsonville, SC, nephew Todd Brashear, and niece Lisa Daughtry.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brother George Daughtry, sister Mary Anne Isom, wife Alice, and son David W. Daughtry.
Rest In Peace Brother