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SCANG honors life of Swamp Fox leader, friend

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder
  • 169th Fighter Wing/Public Affairs

Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Stanley Hood Sr., former South Carolina Air National Guard chief of staff and base commander from Columbia, South Carolina, passed away August 25.

During his graveside service at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery August 31, pilots from the 169th Fighter Wing performed a flyover while a U.S. Air Force Honor Guard team from nearby Shaw Air Force Base conducted full military honors in remembrance of his lifelong service to state and nation.

“Brigadier General Hood has been a longtime mentor and friend. His passion for service to our great state and nation is evident by his almost four decades in uniform. In his three decades of retirement, I know of no one more committed to preserving the legacy and history of the Swamp Fox. While we will truly miss General Hood, I also know he is reunited with his beloved wife. He will not be forgotten,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Akshai Gandhi, commander of the 169th Fighter Wing and base commander of McEntire JNGB.

Hood joined the Air Force in 1950 and later found a home with the SCANG in August 1956, retiring as its senior leader in June 1987 with more than 36 years of military service and leadership.

According to his obituary, Hood first served in the SCANG as a traditional guardsman as a fighter pilot with later assignments that included an active-duty recall to Moron Air Base, Spain in support of the Berlin Crisis, Air Defense Alert, instructor pilot, armament and electronics officer, operations officer, commander of the 157th Fighter Squadron, commander of 169th Tactical Fighter Group and base commander of McEntire Air National Guard Station.

Hood retired from the SCANG as a command pilot with more than 5,000 combined flying hours in the following aircraft; T-6 Texan, T-28 Trojan, T-33 Shooting Star, C-45 Expeditor, C-47 Gooneybird, U-3 Blue Canoe, F-86A,E,F,D &L Sabre, F-104A&B Starfighter, F-102 Delta Dagger, A-7D Corsair II, and the F-16A Fighting Falcon, which was brand new to the SCANG during his last years as the SCANG’s chief of staff.  

From his retirement article in the June 1987 SCANG Newsletter, Hood remembers his flying experience in the various fighter aircraft as the “loves of his life, each with a unique personality.” He added, “the F-86, an extremely easy airplane to fly; the F-104, 15 years ahead of its time, low on firepower, somewhat low on range, but extremely fast; and the F-16, without a doubt, hands-down, it was all of the other fighters combined. Thank the Lord it belongs to the United States!”

He was mentored by legendary Swamp Fox leaders like our base’s namesake Brig. Gen. Barnie McEntire, Brig. Gen. Robert Morrell and Col. Homer Keisler. These early years of working alongside such impressionable icons greatly influenced Hood to accept and excel in key leadership positions in the SCANG, directly attributing to a continued quest for Swamp Fox excellence.

“Stan Hood has served tirelessly and ably as the chief of staff of our Air National Guard. He has helped make our Air Guard force a proud family. And that family will long cherish General Hood’s devotion and service in defense of freedom,” said Maj. Gen. T. Eston Marchant, former South Carolina adjutant general, attributed from the June 1987 SCANG Newsletter.