F1c Howard Hodges Returns

| April 14, 2021 | 10 Comments

We first met F1c Hodges last October on Hondo’s Sunday “Return” post, here: https://valorguardians.com/blog/?p=106508.
Our Gun Bunny sends the news that he has finally come home.

Pearl Harbor hero finally returns, eight decades later

A positive DNA test confirmed Fireman First Class Howard Hodges’ identity. His remains returned for internment in his hometown of Washington, N.C.

Author: Mike Gooding

NORFOLK, Va. — It is a story nearly 80 years in the making. It begins on December 7th, 1941, the day that President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “will live infamy.”

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor was devastating. 2,403 Americans were killed and 1,143 were wounded. Eighteen ships were sunk or run aground.

The Battleship USS West Virginia got hit by seven torpedoes and two bombs, killing 106 men, including 20-year-old Navy Fireman 1st Class Howard D. Hodges of Washington, North Carolina.

“He’d been on board, fighting a fire,” said Roy Hankinson, Assistant State Captain, North Carolina Patriot Guard Riders. “He got trapped in a compartment. They found his body, but they couldn’t identify it.”

Hodges was officially listed as Missing in Action, and his unidentified remains were buried in a cemetery of “unknowns” in Hawaii for all these decades.

Then last year, with the help of modern-day DNA technology, those remains were positively identified.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced Hodges was accounted for on Oct. 15, 2020.

On Tuesday, Patriot Guard Riders from Virginia and North Carolina gathered to welcome Hodges home. He returned to the East Coast, to Norfolk International Airport, on an American Airlines jet.

The Patriot Guard team, along with law enforcement units from both states, escorted Hodges to his new final resting place in Washington, where he grew up as one of 15 children.

“This is just such an honor to do this for this veteran and to have the family know he’s coming home,” said Rich Fredley, Senior Ride Captain, Hampton Roads-District Five, Patriot Guard Riders. “It’s an honor to give this respect, and final resting ease for the family.”

Hodges will be laid to rest this Saturday in his hometown of Washington, North Carolina.

If he were still alive, he’d be 100 years old this year.

Posted in its entirety. View the article with pics and video here: 13 News Now

UNDER the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie:
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

This be the verse you ‘grave for me:
Here he lies where he long’d to be;
Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

RL Stevenson

Category: Guest Link, We Remember

Comments (10)

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  1. Eric (The OC Tanker) says:

    Rest well in the Mansions of the LORD.

    May GOD give his peace to the family.

  2. President Elect Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH Neanderthal B Woodman Domestic Violent Extremist SuperStraight says:

    Damn dusty here. Where’s dat Onion Fairy. Gonna catch it, chop it up and sautee it.

    Ya gots me in da feelz with the RL Stevenson poem.

    GROUP!
    ATTENTION!
    PRESENT ARMS!
    ORDER ARMS!
    REST.

  3. MustangCryppie says:

    Rest in peace, shipmate.

    Not to be nitpicky, Ed, but FC1 is a Fire Controlman 1st Class these days. Don’t think the rate existed in 1941.

    From my research, a Fireman First Class seems to be a non-rate and his rank is F1c.

    Check it out for yourself.

    https://www.uniform-reference.net/insignia/usn/usn_ww2_enl_engine_room.html

    • AW1Ed says:

      Corrected, thanks.

      • MustangCryppie says:

        You’re welcome.

        They sure had some funky classifications back then!

      • KoB says:

        Picky Picky, huh Boss? MC, I just did a copy pasty thingie on this article to send in to AW1Ed. I never could figure out Navy Rank anyhow, they do things weird in the Floating Artillery Platform business. You know, kinda how they will mount wings and motors on prop driven Aerial Artillery Platforms. I look for these follow ups to add to Hondo’s Posts, hoping that we may have some of our people in the AO that may want or can attend the Services. Maybe they’ll have a good turnout for him in the Old North State.

        Y’all may recall I’ve made mention of my former High School Principle that served on West Virginia during that fight as an Ensign. Mighta known this Sailor. We Welcome Home the Warrior F1c Howard Hodges with a full Battery Gun Salute…PREPARE!! FIRE!!!!

        I had them Dust Bunnies under control til I hit that poem. Thanks ‘Ed!

      • Hondo says:

        Might find this site of use in any such future articles, AW1Ed. I end up using it most weeks.

        https://uniform-reference.net/insignia/usn/usn_ww2_enlisted.html

  4. MustangCryppie says:

    “I had them Dust Bunnies under control til I hit that poem.”

    The one that gets my eyes squirting every time is the Navy Hymn. Whew!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7o4Ltq_Dz8

    Eternal Father, strong to save,
    Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
    Who bidd’st the mighty ocean deep
    Its own appointed limits keep,
    O hear us when we cry to thee
    For those in peril on the sea!

    O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
    And hushed their raging at thy word,
    Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
    And calm amidst its rage didst sleep,
    O hear us when we cry to thee,
    For those in peril on the sea!

    Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
    Upon the chaos dark and rude,
    And bid its angry tumult cease,
    And give, for wild confusion, peace,
    O hear us when we cry to thee
    For those in peril on the sea!

    Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
    To all Marines, both night and day,
    The courage, honor, strength, and skill
    Their land to serve, thy law fulfill;
    Be thou the shield forevermore
    From every peril to the Corps.

    Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
    Through the great spaces in the sky.
    Be with them always in the air,
    In darkening storms or sunlight fair.

    • AW1Ed says:

      Lord, guard and guide the ones who fly
      Through the great spaces in the sky,
      Be with them always in the air,
      In darkening storms or sunlight fair.
      O, Hear us when we lift our prayer,
      For those in peril in the air.

  5. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    *Slow Salute*

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