Eugene "Red" McDaniel is a retired U.S. Navy Captain and a former Vietnam War POW at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton."
Inside the prison, McDaniel became a key member of Vice-Admiral James Bond Stockdale's covert operation between the POWs and the U.S. government. He was instrumental in implementing a system of taps that enabled communication between the cellblocks, a sound he likened to "30 secretaries typing away on typewriters."
He would later credit his faith with giving him the strength to survive his ordeal, as well as the knowledge that the U.S. government was actively working on their behalf.
Eventually, McDaniel was released on March 4, 1973, after more than six years in captivity. Upon returning home, he was awarded the Navy's second highest award for bravery, the Navy Cross, as well as two Silver Stars, the Legion of Merit with Combat "V," the Distinguished Flying Cross, three Bronze Stars with Combat "V," and two Purple Hearts for wounds received in captivity.
McDaniel would continue his service in the U.S. Navy, culminating in his role as Director of Navy/Marine Corps Liaison to the United States House of Representatives from 1979 to 1981. He retired in January 1982.
After the war, he became involved in Vietnam War POW/MIA issues and aimed at focusing attention on American servicemen still missing in Southeast Asia.