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Family stars in Cody Hall

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Logan Staup, 81st Security Forces Squadron visitors center clerk, provides a Gold Star Family Member ID card to Rhonda Cody, Gold Star Family Member, inside the visitor center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody's father, Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. As a surviving daughter of a killed in action service member, Cody is allowed to obtain an ID card for recognition and installation access to attend events and access Airmen and Family Readiness Center referral services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Logan Staup, 81st Security Forces Squadron visitors center clerk, provides a Gold Star Family Member ID card to Rhonda Cody, Gold Star Family Member, inside the visitor center at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody's father, Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. As a surviving daughter of a killed in action service member, Cody is allowed to obtain an ID card for recognition and installation access to attend events and access Airmen and Family Readiness Center referral services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler leadership escorts Gold Star Family Members into Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Family members of U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Cody, a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963, received a tour of the facility named after him. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Keesler leadership escorts Gold Star Family Members into Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Family members of U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Cody, a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963, received a tour of the facility named after him. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Donald Roley, 334th Training Squadron director of operations, provides Rhonda Cody, Gold Star Family Member, and her family with a tour inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody's father, Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. As surviving family members of a killed in action service member, they are allowed to obtain an ID card for recognition and installation access to attend events and access Airmen and Family Readiness Center referral services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Donald Roley, 334th Training Squadron director of operations, provides Rhonda Cody, Gold Star Family Member, and her family with a tour inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody's father, Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. As surviving family members of a killed in action service member, they are allowed to obtain an ID card for recognition and installation access to attend events and access Airmen and Family Readiness Center referral services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Donald Roley, 334th Training Squadron director of operations, provides Rhonda Cody, Gold Star Family Member, and her family with a tour inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody's father, Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. As surviving family members of a killed in action service member, they are allowed to obtain an ID card for recognition and installation access to attend events and access Airmen and Family Readiness Center referral services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

U.S. Air Force Maj. Donald Roley, 334th Training Squadron director of operations, provides Rhonda Cody, Gold Star Family Member, and her family with a tour inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody's father, Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. As surviving family members of a killed in action service member, they are allowed to obtain an ID card for recognition and installation access to attend events and access Airmen and Family Readiness Center referral services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Karen McGill, Gold Star Family Member, pins a Gold Star Family Member lapel pin on the shirt of her mother, Myrna Cody, Gold Star Family Member, inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Myrna Cody's husband, U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

Karen McGill, Gold Star Family Member, pins a Gold Star Family Member lapel pin on the shirt of her mother, Myrna Cody, Gold Star Family Member, inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Myrna Cody's husband, U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Cody, was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

A painting of U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Cody is on display inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

A painting of U.S. Air Force Capt. Howard Cody is on display inside Cody Hall at Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 2, 2020. Cody was a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam in 1963. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kemberly Groue)

KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --

Family members of Capt. Howard Rudolph Cody received Gold Star Family ID cards, here and toured Cody Hall, Sept. 2.

Cody Hall was named in honor of Capt. Howard Rudolph Cody, a senior pilot who was killed in action in South Vietnam. The building hosts training for the 334th Training Squadron, providing critical command and control capabilities to the Air Force mission.

“‘Nothing is going to happen to me,’ were his very last words he told me,” said Myrna Cody, Capt. Howard Cody’s wife.

Capt. Howard Cody was flying a B-26 Invader in support of ground operations against the Communist Viet Cong near Ca Mau, approximately 160 miles southwest of Saigon, Vietnam, when he was hit by ground fire. He continued to attack, forcing the Viet Cong to reveal their gun positions to other Air Force aircraft in the target area. His aircraft sustained damage that led to him losing control and crashing. He was considered missing in action Nov. 24, 1963, later pronounced killed in action Dec. 17, 1963.

They came to the conclusion that no one could have lived through the crash, especially after the plane exploded when it hit and he was in the cockpit under six to eight feet of water,” said Myrna Cody. “I don’t think you ever completely give up hope. I was waiting until they found him to have a memorial service here, but we never had one.

Capt. Howard Cody’s remains have not yet been discovered.

He got shot down, but he took a lot with him,” said Howard Cody, Capt. Howard Cody’s son. “I have a child’s memory of him, but I do remember some things. He was in the now, fearless, and I think he’d try anything.”

At the time Capt. Howard Cody was killed, Howard Cody was 8 years old, his sister Rhonda Cody was 7 years old and his youngest sister Karen Cody was 4 years old.

“The neighbors kids and our friends were trotting up behind the car saying ‘Your father is lost, your father is lost,’ and we didn’t get it,” said Howard Cody. “I said to Rhonda, ‘What does it mean he’s lost? If you were in a strange country, you’d get lost too.’”

Howard, Rhonda and Karen Cody found out their father was missing while riding home from Sunday school with their mother, who had been told earlier in the day.

We had spent so much time with mom, I couldn’t tell you when I realized something was missing,” said Rhonda Cody. “My favorite memory is the dune buggy we had. We’d leave the house in it and daddy would pull off to the side of the road and let air out of the tires to drive better into the sand. He would soar over those dunes and we’d fly up out of our seats. I think he drove as fast as he flew. It was a lot of fun.”

During his career, Capt. Howard Cody had flown the C-54 Skymaster at Brookley, Alabama, and Keflavik Airport, Iceland, the C-123 Provider and C-54 Skymaster at Otis AFB, Massachusetts and the B-26 Invader with the Air Commandos out of Eglin AFB, Florida.

Capt. Howard Cody was awarded two purple hearts, the Air Medal with one oak leaf cluster, the Air Force Cross, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal throughout his career, some posthumously.