KEESLER AIR FORCE BASE, Miss. --
Howard Rudolph Cody, Captain, USAF, 1934-1963
Capt. Howard Rudolph Cody, a native of Gulfport, Mississippi and a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, joined the Air Force in 1954 and entered the Aviation Cadet program on Feb. 13, 1954. He commissioned as a second lieutenant and a pilot on May 16, 1955.
Cody spent the next six years working in transport. Then, in 1958, he was assigned to Air Rescue in Iceland as a C-54 pilot and received the Norwegian Medal of Valor for his part in rescuing the motorship Polar Bjorn off the coast of Greenland.
In 1961, he became an Air Commando and Special Operator. He was assigned as a transport pilot first before becoming an A-26 pilot.
Cody was killed on Nov. 24, 1963 when the B-26 Invader fighter bomber he was flying was hit by ground fire. He was operating in support of ground operations against the Communist Viet Cong near Ca Mau about 160 miles southwest of Saigon. Despite being hit by ground fire, he continued to press the attack forcing the Viet Cong to reveal their gun positions to other Air Force aircraft in the target area. On his last firing pass over the target, Cody took additional damage causing the aircraft to lose control and crash. As a result, the guns were destroyed and Cody was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross.
Cody’s awards include 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.
Cody Hall is the largest academic building on Keesler AFB and is located in Bldg. 4214. It marks the start of the place where all ground-based command and control (C2) training in 10 different Air Force Specialty Codes begins. More than 7,000 Airman from the 334th Training Squadron train at Cody Hall annually and provide critical C2 capabilities to the Air Force mission; which is to lead, motivate, and develop C2 and Battlefield Airmen to support Joint and Coalition Operations worldwide.