Gen. Warren D. Hodges, 81, decorated veteran, head of National Guard

October 21, 2004|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Gen. Warren D. Hodges, a retired military officer and decorated veteran of three wars who served as adjutant general of the Maryland National Guard in the 1980s, died of a collapsed lung Friday at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. The Bel Air resident was 81.

Born in Lawrence, Kan., he attended the University of Kansas, where he played baseball and football before joining the Army in 1942. He later earned a degree from the University of Nebraska. He was also a graduate of several military command schools.

General Hodges served during World War II in France and Germany, where he was wounded, and was later assigned to Japan, where he was Gen. Douglas MacArthur's honor guard commander.

In July 1950, he returned to active duty in Korea as a battalion commander and regimental operations officer. He then served in the United States, Greece and Pakistan. He was deputy chief of the National Guard at the Pentagon before going to Vietnam, where he served as a brigade commander and division chief of staff.

In 1969, he became chief of staff at Aberdeen Proving Ground and then commander of the combined Edgewood Arsenal and APG. He retired in 1972.

He became an assistant secretary for capital planning in the state Department of Planning, and was named to head the Maryland National Guard by Gov. Harry R. Hughes in 1980. He held the post until 1987.

"He was a genuine war hero with an exceptional combat record," Mr. Hughes said yesterday. "He was a real soldier's soldier who also did a lot for the state in two different capacities."

Among his awards were the Combat Infantryman Badge with two stars, Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star and Purple Heart. He belonged to many veterans and military societies.

Services were held yesterday at Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, where he was a member.

Survivors include his wife of 61 years, the former Kathleen Robson; a son, Richard W. Hodges of Joppatowne; a daughter, Wanda Strange of Leavenworth, Kan.; two brothers, Ervin Hodges of Lawrence, Kan., and Dr. Merle Hodges of Salina, Kan.; a sister, Leta Mae Percival of Lawrence, Kan.; six grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

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