Howard Cody was born on September 5, 1934, in Gulfport, Mississippi. He graduated from Gulfport High School and then attended the University of Southern Mississippi. Cody enlisted in the Aviation Cadet Program of the U.S. Air Force on February 11, 1954, and was commissioned a 2nd Lt and awarded his pilot wings on May 12, 1955, at Reese AFB, Texas. His first assignment was as a C-54 Skymaster transport pilot at Brookley AFB, Alabama, where he served from May 1955 to April 1957. Cody then served with the 53rd Aerospace Rescue Squadron at Keflavik Airport, Iceland, flying rescue missions in the SC-54. During this time he was awarded the Norwegian Medal of Heroism for helping to rescue the motorship Polar Bjorn off the coast of Greenland. He next flew C-54s and C-123 Providers at Otis AFB, Massachusetts, from May 1958 to September 1959, when he was transferred to Stewart AFB, New York. Capt Cody began flying with the Air Commandos out of Eglin AFB, Florida, in April 1962, where he flew the B-26 Invader. He began flying combat missions in Southeast Asia in July 1963, and was killed in action during a combat mission in South Vietnam on November 24, 1963. Captain Cody's remains have never been recovered. He was survived by his wife Myrna and their three children. Cody Hall on Keesler AFB in Biloxi, MS, was named in his honor.
His Air Force Cross Citation reads:
For extraordinary heroism in connection with military operations against an opposing armed force as an Advisor-Pilot of a B-26B aircraft on 24 November 1963. On that date, Captain Cody voluntarily exposed himself and his aircraft during a low-level flight near hidden Viet Cong machine gun installations. This forced the Viet Cong to reveal their position which led to their destruction by cover aircraft. In this action, Captain Cody's aircraft was badly damaged by machine gun fire and he never gained control of his aircraft. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, and aggressiveness in the face of hostile forces, Captain Cody reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.