James L. Hodges

Cpl. James Hodges Receives Citation Ribbon in Italy
15TH AAF IN ITALY—A blue and gold Distinguished Unit Citation Ribbon has been presented to Corporal James L. Hodges, son of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Hodges, Route 1, an automotive equipment operator in the oldest Army Air Forces fighter group.

This P-38 Group was cited for its participation in the first long-range, low-level strafing attack ever carried out. On August 25, 1943, the P-38s of this group flew over 1,000 miles to strafe the Foggia, Italy Air Fields and accounted for the destruction of 88 enemy aircraft, which was more than half of the total destroyed by the three P-38 groups on that day. 

The group, commanded by Colonel Robert B. Richard, Visalia, California, has scored over four hundred aerial victories in 1,000 missions over enemy territory. It was one of the first fighter groups to land in England and began operation in the European Theater in July 1942. Since then, it has participated in the invasion landing in North Africa in November 1942 and has taken part in every  major campaign in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. 

Corporal Hodges entered the service on December 15, 1941 and, after receiving training at camps in Mississippi and New Jersey, he went overseas in June 1942. He was stationed in England prior to going to North Africa and, later, to Italy.