Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster
Born in Jonesboro, Arkansas on 30 July, 1940, General Hooper graduated from Arkansas State in 1962 with a BS in Business Administration and a commission in the Field Artillery. He is one of America's most decorated Vietnam Era soldiers, with four Distinguished Flying Crosses, two Bronze Stars, numerous Air Medals, and two awards of our nation's third highest decoration for valor: the Silver Star.
On 8 November, 1967, Captain Hooper was in command of two armed helicopters supporting a special forces team in heavy contact with a determined, well armed enemy force. While attacking the enemy one of his ships was shot down by intense hostile fire. He called for rescue of the downed crew, and despite hostile fire he attacked the enemy positions to force them away from the rescue site. After expending all ammunition on his helicopter, he chose to remain and support the rescue with personal weapons and smoke grenades. Only when all rescue ships had departed did he withdraw from the battle and seek personal safety.
On 30 January, 1968, Captain Hooper's two armed helicopter gunships sighted and immediately engaged numerous enemy machine gun and sniper positions. Both ships received several hits but continued to make daring low level passes until all ammunition was expended. He rearmed and led his gunships against a heavy automatic weapons emplacement, during which his ship was hit and severely damaged. He immediately acquired another ship and returned to combat, where he braved enemy fire to evacuate a critically wounded soldier, and then returned again and to continue his assaults on the enemy forces