On The Story

On The Story

Chris Riker

Living History

By Chris RikerPosted June 5, 2014 10:48am (EDT)
Lt. Ben Hodges of Reynolds, GA

Lt. Ben Hodges of Reynolds, GA


A remarkable young man from Conyers took on a project to learn more about a WWII flyer who gave his life fighting the Nazis. Ben Smart has excelled in school and in Junior ROTC. Now, he says he has even greater determination to become a flyer for the Navy, after learning about the life and final mission of 2nd Lt. Ben Hodges of Reynolds, GA.

Hodges put thoughts of his own safety and even his young wife behind him, as he embarked in his P-47 Thunderbolt on a dangerous mission to knock-out German V-1 rockets based in western France.

On June 20, 1944, just two weeks after D-Day, he had a fateful encounter with enemy Messerschmitts.

70 years later, another young man with a similar background, Ben Smart, learned more about Lt. Hodges than even the flyer's family knew.
center: Ben Smart
Smart, who made Colonel in Junior ROTC, was able to share what he learned even as he drew inspiration from this brave soul.

Watch this inspiring story as you prepare to remember the 70th anniversary of D-Day. It's tonight at 7 on "On the Story" with Bill Nigut and Bobbie Battista, on GPB.

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