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Fallen Heroes Details



In Memory Of
Gary Howe
Los Angeles Police Department, CA
End of watch: 1991-06-13
Aircraft: AS350B
Officers Gary Howe and Randy Champe, operating "Air 12", suffered a mechanical failure and crashed near Vernon Street and Raymond Avenue. Both crew members were killed, as well as a civilian on the ground.

More than 2,000 law enforcement officers from throughout Southern California converged on the Hollywood Hills to honor them. More than 30 helicopters saluted the fallen officers with a 10-minute flyover as part of the smoggy morning ceremony at Forest Lawn Memorial Park cemetery. The memorial service opened with a bagpipe rendition of "Amazing Grace" and ended 90 minutes later with the somber blasts of "Taps" from a gleaming trumpet.

Police and military honor guards paid tribute to the two officers with a 21-gun salute, followed by the ceremonial folding of the American flags that had been draped over the caskets. Gates and Capt. Robert Woods, commanding officer of the Air Support Division, presented the flags to Sue Champe, and Lynette Howe the widows.

Howe, a 20-year police veteran and pilot of the helicopter, was honored as a dedicated police officer and a devoted father and husband. In addition to his wife, Howe leaves three children, Stefani, 14, Robert, 10, and Brent, 8.

In memory of the two officers, Police Department officials said the unit designation "Air 12," which had been assigned to Champe and Howe, will no longer be used by the department.

Thoughts and Memories of Gary Howe

The officers from LAPD's 77th Street Division wrote the following tribute to Gary and Randy, which is posted in the hallway at Air Support Division.

"ANY AIR UNIT IN THE AREA OF 77TH DIVISION COME INTO CONTROL"

TRANSMISSIONS YOU WOULD OFTEN HEAR,

AND QUICKLY RESPOND, WHETHER YOU

WERE FAR OR NEAR...



YOU WERE OUR EYES UP HIGH

IN THE CLOUDS,

AND YOU ALWAYS FOUND THAT SUSPECT,

EVEN IN THE LARGEST CROWDS..



OUR PERIMETERS YOU WOULD QUICKLY SET,

OUR "ASTAR" TEAM IN THE AIR,

ONE OF THE BEST WE HAD-YOU BET...



WHEN THINGS WERE QUIET, AND YOUR

AIR SHIP WAS JUST AROUND,

RANDY, WE KNOW YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE

JOINED US FOR THAT CUP OF COFFEE

ON THE GROUND..



GARY, WE KNOW HOW MUCH WE KNOW YOU LOVED TO FLY

AND WHEN WE NEEDED YOU IN THE AIR,

ON YOUR PRESENCE WE COULD RELY..



THE SOUND OF THE ASTAR CHOOPER

WILL CONTINUE TO BE HEARD

THOSE VOICES BEHIND THOSE TRANSMISSIONS

FROM YOU, ARE NOW JUST TRESURED WORDS..



"FOREVER AIR 12 AND WE'RE HEADED HOME,

YOU GUYS BE SAFE OUT THERE."



"ROGER-AIR 12 THANKS FOR THE RESPONSE"

Doug Abney
2006-01-21

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