HODGES, RUFUS WELDON
HODGES, RUFUS WELDON
Rank / Branch:
SP4 E-4 U.S. ARMY
FIRST AVIATION BRIGA
Date of Birth:
NON-HOSTILE AIR CRAS
Awards & Decorations:
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RUFUS WELDON HODGES, SPECIALIST FOUR, U.S. ARMY, MIDLAND, MIDLAND COUNTY, TEXAS
AWARDS AND DECORATIONS
Army Aviation Crew Wings, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal
Rufus Weldon Hodges was born in Menard, Texas to Rufus and Loretta Hodges. He was the second child of five, older brother Ken, younger brothers Blaine and Terry and his sister Ann. He was known as Weldon by his family and friends. He attended schools in Midland and graduated from Midland Lee High School in 1966.
Weldon Hodges, Midland Lee High School-1965
He enlisted in the U. S Army in 1967 and trained as a OH-6A (LOH) aircraft mechanic. He married Delores Van Cleave in Odessa on April 23, 1968 while home on leave prior to departing for Vietnam. Delores and he had known each other as students at Midland Lee High School. Delores had moved to Odessa prior to her senior year in high school. She was in her senior year at Permian High School and graduated two weeks after Weldon had departed for Vietnam.
He began his tour in Vietnam on May 18, 1968. He was assigned as a member of the 147th Assault Helicopter Company, 214th Aviation Battalion, 12th Aviation Group, First Aviation Brigade. He was a helicopter mechanic and also flew as a door gunner and as a crew chief on many occasions. He was killed in a non-hostile helicopter incident on January 17, 1969. Specialist Hodges was working performing night maintenance on a CH-47A helicopter, tail number 64-13128 when he was struck on the head by one of the forward blades and he was pronounced dead on arrival at the 36th Evacuation Hospital.
Resthaven Memorial Garden's Cemetery, Mudland, Texas
Specialst Hodges was buried with full military honors at Resthaven Cemetery in Midland, Texas.
He was very much a family person and he held family very close, but he also was very proud to be an American and was willing to do whatever it took to protect our rights, such as freedom. Weldon was a wonderful role model. He was your all-American young man...a fine son and brother, a cowboy, a great friend to everyone and proud to be an American and serve his country. He was survived by his parents, his wife, Delores, his brothers and sister.
His father and brother, Terry are now deceased and rest next to him. His wife, Delores Beralek remarried and lives in Waco, Texas. His mother now resides in San Angelo. His brother, Ken lives in Ft.Worth; his brother, Blaine lives in El Paso. His sister, Ann Wilton is married to Kevin and lives in Midland.