Daniel Galde was born on January 5, 1944, in Texas. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force on November 16, 1962, and after completing basic training at Lackland AFB, Texas, he was trained as a pararescueman. Sgt Galde's first assignment was as a pararescueman with the 36th Air Rescue Squadron at Tachikawa AB, Japan, from July 1963 to April 1967, followed by service as a pararescueman with the 41st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Hamilton AFB, California, from April 1967 to August 1968. He served as a pararescueman in Southeast Asia at Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, from August 1968 to June 1969, and then served as a pararescue instructor with the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Training Center at Eglin AFB, Florida, from June 1969 to February 1971. During this time, SSgt Galde served as a pararescueman aboard the HH-53 "Apple Five" during the Son Tay Raid, a clandestine mission to rescue American Prisoners of War in North Vietnam on November 21, 1970. His next assignment was as a pararescueman with the 1550th Student Squadron at Hill AFB, Utah, from February to December 1971, and then with Detachment 10, Headquarters Military Airlift Command at Hill AFB from January to December 1972. He then served with the 1550th Aircrew Training and Test Wing at Hill AFB from January 1973 to January 1976, followed by service as NCOIC of the Pararescue Section with the 33rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron at Kadena AB, Okinawa, from January 1976 to January 1979. His final assignment was with Headquarters Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service at Scott AFB, Illinois, from January 1979 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 1, 1983.
His Silver Star Citation reads:
Staff Sergeant Daniel E. Galde distinguished himself by gallantry as a volunteer in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States during the Prisoner of War search and rescue operation at Son Tay, North Vietnam, on 21 November 1970. On that date, Sergeant Galde, performing as a Pararescue-Gunner in a helicopter prepared to carry out the ground rescue party and freed prisoners, flew deep into the heart of enemy territory in a bold night attempt to rescue American Prisoners of War. Throughout the entire mission, he manned his position with bravery and aggressiveness while maintaining the critical fire discipline necessary for properly conducting this humanitarian operation. During the return, he was a vital crew member in the pickup of a downed fighter pilot. The personal skill and extreme courage displayed by Sergeant Galde in this very hazardous rescue attempt contributed immeasurably to the ultimate effectiveness and success of the mission. By his gallantry and devotion to duty, Sergeant Galde has reflected great credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.