Airman 1st Class Mary Howe is one of the few women qualified as an aerial gunner aboard Air Force special operations AC-130 gunships — the warplanes with accurate cannons unleashed in Iraq and Afghanistan to support troops on the ground.
Airman Howe is the daughter of retired Army Master Sgt. Paul Howe — featured prominently in the best-selling book “Black Hawk Down” about a Delta Force operation in Somalia — and Connie Beckwith Howe, a former Army Reserve major and one of the colonel’s three daughters.
“I hold gunships really close to my heart,” Airman Howe said from Hurlburt Field on the Florida Panhandle. “They’ve been over my dad. They watched over him when he was in the military.”
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