Once he entered the United States Navy during World War II, Ensign Flournoy Glenn Hodges made quite a name for himself. The son of Mr. and Mrs. Wade C. Hodges, Glenn, as he was known, was a graduate of Statesboro High School.
Scheduled to go to work for the Camden County Agricultural Adjustment Act office, he entered the Navy instead to serve his country. After training at both the Jacksonville and Pensacola naval stations, Hodges was commissioned as a naval officer in Miami on April 15, 1941.
Hodges had one brother already in service, Robert, and another, Wade C. Jr., who was running the family farm, the largest in Bulloch County. He also had three sisters: Martha Evelyn Hodges, Sara Lou Brogdon and 15-year-old Dorothy Jane. His mother was the former Ophelia Nevils.
Hodges was flying a Douglas TBD-1 Devastator Torpedo Bomber as part of the U.S.S. Enterprise's VT-6, or Torpedo Squadron 6, which attacked the fleet of Japanese aircraft carriers during the Battle of Midway. Unfortunately, only six of the 41 TBD-1 Devastators sent out to attack the Japanese returned, and Glenn's was not one of them.
After being declared missing in action by the Navy for two days, the search for Hodges and the other missing pilots was called off. After 10 days, Hodges was posthumously promoted to lieutenant junior grade and awarded the Navy Cross, the Navy's highest award and the second-highest award given for valor to members of America's armed forces.
The report of his actions stated that Hodges showed "extraordinary heroism and courageous devotion while piloting an airplane in his torpedo squadron against Japanese forces in the Battle of Midway." The battle, considered to be the greatest naval battle of the Pacific Campaign during World War II, and took place June 4–7, 1942, off of Midway Island.
As a result of Hodges' heroism, the Navy decided to name a new ship after him. On May 25, 1944, the Bulloch Herald announced the launching of the U.S.S. Hodges (DE-231), a Rudderow-class Destroyer Escort, in the Charleston Naval Yards. Sister Dorothy Jane was given the honor of christening the ship.
In attendance for the launching were many Bulloch County notables, including the honorable Fred T. Lanier, solicitor general for the Ogeechee Circuit Superior Court. Lanier told the crowd that it was "two years ago, almost to the day, that Ensign Flournoy Glenn Hodges, United States Naval reserve, of Bulloch County, was listed as missing at the Battle of Midway." He went on to speak of Hodges' sacrifice and thanked the Navy for the honor they had shown the Hodges family.
Roger Allen is a local lover of history. He provides a brief look at the area's historical past. Email Roger at email@example.com.