Retired June 30, 1959. Died April 2, 1985.
Reuben Columbus Hood Jr. was born at Atlanta, Ga., in 1907. He graduated from the Georgia School of Technology in 1928 with a bachelor of science degree in Engineering Chemistry.
Appointed a second lieutenant in the Air Reserves on June 11, 1928, seven days later General Hood was assigned a flying cadet. Completing Primary and Advanced Flying School on Sept. 4, 1929 he was commissioned a second lieutenant of Air Corps, Regular Army.
His first assignment was with the 96th Bomb Squadron at Langley Field, Va., and in July 1930 he assumed command of the Air Corps Detachment at Edgewood Arsenal, Md. Graduating from the Line and Staff Officers' Course at the Chemical Warfare School there in April 1933, General Hood resumed his former position. Entering the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Ala., in August 1934, he graduated the following June and became adjutant, and later operations officer, of the Third Wing at Barksdale Field, La.
Going to Nichols Field, Philippine Islands in July 1937, General Hood joined the Second Observation Squadron, becoming public relations officer for the field and the Fourth Composite Group in October 1938, and post and group adjutant the following July. Moving to Hamilton Field, Calif., shortly thereafter, he was Air Corps supply officer, becoming executive officer of the 10th Pursuit Wing of the General Headquarters Air Force in January 1941.
Shortly before Pearl Harbor, General Hood, at that time serving as a major, was appointed as supply and logistics adviser to the Air Section of the U.S. North African Military Mission. On the entry of the United States in the war, he moved from Cairo to lndia where he became chief of staff and finally commander of the China-Burma-India Air Service Command. Moving up into the interior of China, he became commander of the China Air Service Area, commanding all the U.S. air bases in China.
In July 1944 after this lengthy combat tour, General Hood returned to the United States to become deputy chief of the Supply Division of the Air Service Command at Patterson Field, Ohio.
Duty in Washington commenced in September 1944 when General Hood headed a special group that was engaged in a study to determine effective control and coordination of the Air Force effort in the war with Japan. From January 1945 to February 1947, General Hood was deputy chief of air staff operations, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Forces. For this duty General Hood was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.
During the period preceding and following the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947, General Hood was chief of the Organization and Manpower Division, Headquarters U.S. Air Force.
Between September 1948 and June 1951, General Hood was Air Attache to Brazil. He had the additional duty of chief, Air Section, Joint Brazil U.S. Military Commission in June 1950.
General Hood served as commandant of the Air Command and Staff College, Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., between July 1951 and May 1953. In early 1952 he was assigned as chief of the team which negotiated Mutual Defense Assistance Agreement with Ecuador.
In June 1953 General Hood became commander, Caribbean Air Command in Panama, an assignment which continued until 1956. In January and February 1954, he was assigned to command and lead the jet fighter goodwill tour of Central and South America, known as "Wings for the Americas."
General Hood became commander, Headquarters Command, U.S. Air Force at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., in June 1956.
DECORATIONS AND MEDALS
Distinguished Service Medal
Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster
Distinguished Flying Cross
Army Commendation Ribbon
European-African-Middle Eastern Medal
World War II Victory Medal
National Defense Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal
American Theater Medal
Honorary Commander in the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE)
Aeronautical Cross of Merit - Columbia
"Abdon Calderon" First Class - Ecuador
Military Medal, First Class - Chile
Peruvian Aviation Cross, First Class - Peru
National Order of Merit in the Grade of Grand Cross - Paraguay
Condor of the Andes - Bolivia
Cross of Aeronautical Merit - Brazil
Venezuelan Air Force Cross - Venezuela
Honduran Pilot Wings
Ecuadorean Pilot Wings
Nicaraguan Pilot Wings
Peruvian Pilot Wings
Brazilian Pilot Wings
Chilean Pilot Wings
Cuban Pilot Wings
Mexican Pilot Wings
Uruguayan Pilot Wings
Colombian Pilot Wings
Paraguayan Pilot Wings
Chinese Pilot Wings