|Birth: ||Nov. 21, 1937|
|Death: ||Oct. 7, 1967, Vietnam|
In Memory of….. LT. DAVID LAWTON HODGES.
*** The family may have a service at Arlington National Cemetery.
*** Lieutenant Hodges was a member of Attack Squadron 164, Carrier Air Wing 16 aboard the Aircraft Carrier USS ORISKANY (CVA-34). On October 7, 1967, he was the pilot of a Douglas Attack Aircraft Skyhawk (A-4E) on a combat mission about 12 miles southwest of Hanoi, North Vietnam when his aircraft was hit by enemy fire and crashed. His remains were recovered on June 13, 1996 and identified on March 19, 1999. His name is inscribed on the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial.
You may be gone, no longer living on this earth; but you will live on - in the memories of your family and friends. There will always be a part of you living in those who knew you. You will live on because we remember you!
DAVID LAWTON HODGES - Navy - LT - O3
Recipent of 2 Distinguished Flying Cross
Date of Birth Nov 21, 1937
From: CHEVY CHASE, MD
Marital Status: Married - He was 29 and left behind a wife and two young daughters. Hodges's wife has remarried, and his two daughters, Carolyn and Alison, have both married and had children. Mother, Harriet L. Hodges, 87, who lives in Derwood, in Montgomery County (Born Dec.8, 1911 and Died Jan. 27, 2002 at the age of 91 years old in Montgomery Co.,Maryland.). David Hodges's sister, Martha Stewart.
***** "United States Census, 1940"
Name: David L Hodges
Event Type: 1940 Census
Event Place: Montgomery, Maryland, United States
Marital Status: Single
Relationship to Head of Household: Grandson
Birthplace: District Of Columbia
Birth Year (Estimated): 1938
Household Gender Age Birthplace
Daughter-in-law Harriet L Hodges F 28 Rhode Island
Grandson David L Hodges M 2 District Of Columbia
LT - O3 - Navy - Regular
Length of service 10 years
His tour began on Oct 7, 1967
Casualty was on Oct 7, 1967
In , NORTH VIETNAM
HOSTILE, FIXED WING - PILOT
AIR LOSS, CRASH ON LAND
Body was recovered
Panel 27E - Line 66
Other Personnel in Incident:
On October 7, 1967, VA 164 pilot LT David L. Hodges was killed when his Skyhawk was hit by a SAM about twelve miles southwest of Hanoi.
His wingman reported receiving a radio transmission from the lieutenant that his engine had flamed out.
As the wingman watched, Hodges' burning aircraft rolled to the right, entered a steep dive, and crashed.
No parachute was sighted and no emergency beeper signals were heard.
Because of enemy control of the area, there was no search and rescue mission mounted.
At Long Last, Word on a Missing Son
Maryland Pilot Was MIA in Vietnam
By Steve Vogel
Courtesy of the Washington Post
Monday, April 19, 1999
David Hodges loved flying so much that by the time he graduated from Bthesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1955, he had already received both a private pilot's and a commercial airman's license.
He would take to the skies from a small airfield in Montgomery County, honing his skills and entertaining his friends. "He used to buzz the Hot Shoppe," recalled his mother, Harriet Hodges, 87, who lives in Derwood, in Montgomery County. "He was quite a boy. "He loved dangerous things," she said. "He wanted to fly; he wanted to be a Navy pilot. He wanted to land his plane on a carrier."
While David Hodges was leading a strike mission near Hanoi on October 7, 1967, his attack plane was shot down by a North Vietnamese missile. His body,deep in enemy territory, was not recovered. He was 29 and left behind a wife and two young daughters.
On Friday, nearly 32 years after he died, the Pentagon announced that the remains of Lieutenant David L. Hodges, along with five other service members previously unaccounted for, had been found and identified. Harriet Hodges welcomed the news. "I would hate to think he was a prisoner," she said. "He died doing what he liked doing best."
David Hodges's sister, Martha Stewart, said that while listening in recent days to the news about NATO airstrikes in Yugoslavia, she often thought of her brother. Handsome and outgoing, David Hodges got into his share of shenanigans, his mother remembered. "He was a kid who liked to get into things," she said. "But he would never duck out of his responsibility, and he would never tell a lie."
After two years at the University of Maryland, Hodges joined the Air Force and served with the Strategic Air Command in the Mediterranean. But he chafed at the peacetime mission. "It was too calm for him," his mother said. "He thought Navy flying was the only way to go," his sister said.
Hodges transferred to the Navy in 1963 and eventually was sent to Vietnam. He was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses on his first tour and played an important role in a mission destroying a strategic bridge, his mother said. He volunteered for a second tour.
Flying off the USS Orlskany on October 7, 1967, Hodges led a strike mission into North Vietnam.
Near Hanoi, his A-4E Skyhawk was struck by a surface-to-air missile. Hodges radioed his wingman to report that his engine had flamed out. As the wingman watched, Hodges's burning aircraft rolled to the right, entered a steep dive and crashed.
The wingman looked in vain for a parachute. No emergency beeper signals were heard. Because the plane had gone down deep in enemy territory, no search-and-rescue mission was launched, the Pentagon said. Hodges was classified as missing in action.
In the more than three decades that have passed, Hodges's wife has remarried, and his two daughters, Carolyn and Alison, have both married and had children.
"It's hard to believe, but he'd be a grandfather now," said Harriet Hodges.
Using information from Vietnamese wartime documents, in July 1995, a joint American-Vietnamese team traveled to the area where the plane was shot down. The investigators interviewed villagers who said they had visited the site after the crash and buried the pilot. But the crater caused by the crash had been filled with dirt and farmed over, and the team was unable to find evidence of a crash.
In April 1996, another team began excavating the site and found human remains, aircraft wreckage, a wristwatch fragment and items that a pilot would have had. A third team continued the excavation in September 1996 and found more remains among the wreckage.
Martha Stewart gave a blood sample that allowed military investigators working at the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii to make a DNA comparison with the remains found by the team. "I felt it would be the final satisfaction for everyone," said Stewart, who noted that her niece urged her to provide the sample.
The family may have a service at Arlington National Cemetery, according to Stewart.
But Harriet Hodges said she did not need the return of her son's remains to come to peace with his death. "Ashes to ashes, dust to dust," she said. "He's not in those ashes. I believe he and I will meet again in the afterlife."
Harriet Lawton Hodges (1911 - 2002)
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Section 66 Site 5357
Maintained by: Eddieb
Originally Created by: US Veterans Affairs Offi...
Record added: Feb 25, 2000
Find A Grave Memorial# 796408