Fallen Warrior: Capt. Howard Cody

  • Published
  • 81st Training Wing Public Affairs

For our Fallen Warrior commemoration this week, we remember Capt. Howard Cody, 1st Air Commando Squadron pilot.

Cody was born on Sept. 5, 1934 in Gulfport, Mississippi. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Cody enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force in 1954, and was awarded his pilot wings in 1955, at Reese AFB, Texas. His first assignment was as a C-54 Skymaster transport pilot at Brookley AFB, Alabama, where he served from May 1955 to April 1957. 

In 1963, Cody was flying near hidden Viet Cong machine gun installations. Flying at low level to permit visual reconnaissance of the area, the crew located the gun positions and launched their attack. Despite being hit by ground fire they continued to press the attack, forcing the enemy to reveal their gun positions to other Air Force aircraft in the target area. The enemy guns were destroyed as a result of their actions.

On the last firing pass over the target area the aircraft was again severely damaged by gun fire, causing it to go out of control and crash. Cody went down with the aircraft and was killed. His remains were not recovered.

Cody was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross. The award was presented by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Curtis Lemay to Cody’s son, Randy, in Washington, DC. Cody Hall at Keesler is named in his honor.

Editor's note: The Fallen Warrior series highlights Fallen Warriors who exemplify our core values and paid the ultimate sacrifice. Take a moment to honor this week’s hero.