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Fallen Heroes Details



In Memory Of
Randy Champe
Los Angeles Police Department, CA
End of watch: 1991-06-13
Aircraft: AS350B
Officers Randy Champe and Gary Howe, 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.

Champe, a 17-year veteran and the helicopter's TFO, served as a Marine in Vietnam.

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 Randy Champe

Randy was a great leader, a USMC Captain and typical "John Wayne" quiet man. Randy was a boat captain in off duty life, his wife Sue has always been a gem to the guys at LAPD Air Support Division. While walking through burning flames in an aircraft down exercise at VNY's, Randy was my back up, the guy who would not let you fall into certain death, if I did trip and fall amist the hoses and debris under our feet. Randy was always cool calm and collected, no matter what. He was the best that a Los Angeles Policeman could ever be.
John Harrel
2006-02-27
I first met Randy in Houston while he was a member of the Houston Police Department. He and his wife had transferred to Houston due to her job changing.

Randy joined HPD with the hopes that he would join the Helicopter Division. As fate would have it, managment at HPD had different plans for Randy and assigned him to foot patrol in downtown.

No matter what assignment Randy had, he was nothing less than 100% professional.

I remember talking with him about his days in L.A. and how he loved working in the Air Unit and his hopes of joining Houston P.D.'s air unit when the opportunity presented itself.

Fate smiled on Randy when they decided to return to California and he could once again, do what he loved to do.
Thomas Vorpe, Sergeant - H.P.D
2006-07-26
The officers from LAPD's 77th Street Division wrote the following tribute to Randy and Gary, 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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