Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Roy Lee Hodges, Lt. Colonel, USAF (Retired)October 08, 1942 – February 10, 2018
Roy Lee Hodges, President of the Wilbur Wright National Capital Region Chapter Distinguished Flying Cross Society, passed away peacefully on 10 February 2018 after a losing his fight against cancer. He is survived by his loving wife of 18 years, Leonida G. Hodges, two sons, James Scott. Michael Roy, and daughter, Sandy, from a previous marriage. Two grandchildren, Erica and Ian, and one great-granddaughter, Hope.
Roy was born on October 8, 1942 in Shawnee OK. He attended the University of Oklahoma, receiving a BS in Aerospace Engineering and later, an MS in Systems Management from the Air Force Institute of Techno logy. His Air Force career was divided between operational aircraft assignments and system acquisition positions.
Roy was commissioned in the Air Force in April 1965 and became a Strategic Air Command select crew and command pilot, flying the B-52 bomber and later a pilot in the H-53 helicopter. Roy served two tours in Southeast Asia, where he flew 88 combat missions in the B-52 during one and the CH-53 on the other, with the 21st Special Operations Squadron at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, where he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses. After returning stateside, he flew the HH-53 with the 6594 Test Group in support of the National Reconnaissance Office Corona /Spy Satellite program, catching satellites as they fell from space. As a System Program Director, he performed increasingly important systems acquisition duties in the B-1, A-10, EF-111, HH-60A and C-23A programs.
Among his many awards and decorations, Roy received the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, seven Air Medals, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with “V” device for valor, the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters, The Combat Readiness Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with seven campaign stars, Small Arms Marksmanship Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal.
Following his 20-year Air Force career, he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel and went to work for Enterprise Information Systems as a Deputy Program Manager for over 25 years, providing acquisition program support to various Department of Defense and Federal Aviation Administration acquisitions. He assisted the Department of Defense as a Senior Principal Engineer, supporting the Army Blackhawk Hellfire Missile Program and the Air Force H-53 Service Life Extension Program. As a Senior Principal Engineer and Task Area Lead, he supported FAA programs, including the Voice S.-.itching and Control System, Multimode Digital Radio, and National Airspace System Voice Switch. He retired again in 2011 from his position as manager of a group of support contractors providing acquisition program support to the Federal Aviation Administration.
A lifetime history buff and student of the Civil War, Roy spent 17 years as a civil war living historian at several National Battlefield Parks, including Gettysburg, Antietam, Monocracy, Cold Harbor, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, Point Lookout, and Fort Harrison. In this capacity he represented the Second Regiment US Sharpshooters and provided living history interpretation of both the battlefield and life of a civil war soldier.