Capt Howard R. Cody 

KIA Vietnam, 24 November, 1963


The largest academic building at Keesler AFB is named after Capt Howard R. Cody, a native Mississippian who was killed in Vietnam as a member of the Air Commandos. On 24 Nov 1963 Capt Cody flying a B-26 Invader fighter bomber while operating in support of ground operations against the Communist Viet Cong near Ca Mau about 160 miles southwest of Saigon was Killed in Action. Capt Cody encountered ground fire from hidden and entrenched machine guns. Flying at low level to permit visual reconnaissance of the area he located the gun positions and launched his attack. Despite being hit by ground fire he continued to press the attack forcing the VC to reveal their gun positions to other Air Force aircraft in the target area. On his last firing pass over the target area Capt Cody's A-26 was again severely damaged by gun fire causing it to go out of control and crash. The guns were destroyed as a result of his actions. Capt Cody was posthumously awarded the Air Force Cross and General Lemay presented it to his son, Randy in Washington, DC.

Capt Cody was born in Gulfport, Mississippi on 5 September, 1934. He graduated from Gulfport High School, attended University of Southern Mississippi and joined the Air Force in 1954. He entered the Aviation Cadet program on 13 Feb., 1954 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt and a USAF pilot on 16 May, 1955. He spent his time in transports before getting into the commandos. He was assigned to Air Rescue in Iceland in 1958 as a C-54 pilot and received the Norwegian Medal of Valor, during this assignment, for his part in the rescue of the motorship Polar Bjorn off Greenland. He volunteered for the Jungle Jim, later to become the Air Commandos and Special Operations, program in 1961. He was assigned as a transport pilot first and later became a A-26 pilot. His awards include two(2) purple hearts, air Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Cross, Good Conduct Medal, Natl Def Service Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal. He was survived by his widow and three children.