Jerry T. Hodges, Jr
Jerry T. Hodges, Jr. was born in Memphis, Tennessee but shortly after his birth, his mother returned with Jerry to Hughes, Arkansas to the family farm. His family lost their farms during the depression years, whereupon his father moved the family to a farm in Heth, Arkansas. His father later purchased an 80-acre wooded farm on Highway 70 where Jerry spent most of his early years.
He was valedictorian of the 1943 graduating class from Robert R. Moton High School in Marianna, Arkansas. Upon his graduation, his high school principal persuaded him to enroll in Hampton Institute [now Hampton University] in Virginia. During his freshman year he made the decision to join the Tuskegee Aviation Cadet Training Program. At the beginning of primary flight training he requested and was assigned to Mr. Roscoe Draper (a Hamptonian and Arkansas native) as his first primary flight instructor. This proved to be one of the better decisions of his life.
Jerry was trained to fly the PT-17 and PT-13 Aircraft at Moton Field in Tuskegee. In September 1945 he completed his training as a Twin Engine Pilot. Following graduation from the Tuskegee Aviation Cadet Training, Jerry was assigned to the 477th Bomber Group, 617th Bomb Squadron at Lockbourne Air Base and as Assistant Base Statistical Control Officer.At the end of World War II he opted out of the Army Air Corp to return to civilian life and
complete his formal education. By the time he left Lockbourne Air Base, he had logged over
500 flying hours in the B-25 Bomber in not quite 5 months.
After returning to civilian life he received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting & Finance in 1950 from the University of Southern California. He continued to pursue his education and received a second Degree in Financial Planning from the College of Financial Planning in Denver Colorado.
After graduation Jerry served as Controller and then Vice President of the first Afro- American Casualty Insurance Company in California. In 1965 he began a solo Public Accounting Practice. His success in this venture, lead to the absorption of three other successful practices. His accounting firms supported clients throughout the states of California, Nevada, Arkansas, and Oregon.
During his career Jerry has been active in many community and business organizations including one of the founders of the Los Angeles Branch of David Rockefeller’s original “INTERRACIAL COUNCIL FOR BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY” and is the current President of the Tuskegee Airmen Scholarship Foundation.
In 2007 President George W. Bush honored the Tuskegee Airmen in Washington, D.C. by presenting the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor to the Tuskegee Airmen organization. The organization donated the original gold medal to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington where it is on display.