Published in the "Mohawk", official newspaper of the 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Missouri (March 2011 public online issue):
Master Sgt. Floyd Howe (July 28, 1955 - Feb. 1, 2011) (Courtesy photo)
Floyd O. Howe II, 55, was born July 28, 1955, at Fort Monmouth, U.S. Army Hospital, the son of Clifford Oral Howe and Tsuyako Takaku (Ruth) Howe. He passed away suddenly Feb. 1, 2011, at his home in Warrensburg, Mo.
He was a graduate of Manhattan High School, Manhattan, Kan., in 1973, and enlisted in the Air Force in 1973. The next eight years were spent on active duty in Minot, N.D.
In 1982, Floyd graduated from Manhattan Area Technical College and was united in marriage to fellow graduate Elizabeth Socolofsky on Aug. 14, 1982, in Manhattan, Kan.
Floyd worked for BG Consultants Inc, Manhattan, Kan., as head of their Construction Inspection Department. During this time he also attended Kansas State University when he enlisted in the Air Force Reserve 442d Fighter Wing in 1985. He worked at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base as an Air Reserve Technician with Aircraft Maintenance Squadron in 1987, and moved with his unit to Whiteman Air Force Base near Warrensburg, Mo., in 1994.
Master Sergeant Howe proudly served 36 years with the Air Force Reserve and Active Duty and was a highly decorated veteran. He was Noncommissioned Officer of the quarter. The Meritorious Service Medal and the Outstanding Unit Award with Valor and numerous overseas campaign medals are a few of the 20 awards and decorations he had received. He served his country while in Alaska, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Kuwait, and served in such campaigns as Operation Desert Storm, Operation Desert Shield, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.
He was an active member of Boy Scouts of America and as team captain of the KC Hogs bicycling team, annually raised funds for the MS150.
He is survived by: his wife, Elizabeth, of the home, daughter Alexandria T. Howe of Warrensburg, one son Clifford K. Howe of the home, brothers Donald R. Howe, Manhattan, Kan., David E. Howe, of McPherson, Kan., Carl E. Howe, Maryville, Kan., and sister Mary J. Duclos, Manhattan, Kan.
More than anything, Floyd was a wonderful father and caring husband, friend and neighbor. He was an outstanding cook and loved airplanes, cycling, and the great outdoors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the 442d Fighter Wing ROA Scholarship Fund, 442 FFS/A&FR, 931 Arnold Ave, Whiteman AFB, MO 65305, and in care of the Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren Funeral Home in Warrensburg.
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Master Sgt. Floyd Howe II became a world-champion loader after the 442nd Fighter Wing competed against 13 wings in Gunsmoke '91 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev.
Fourteen teams competed over a six-day period for the title. The 44nd audience included fellow servicemembers, 15 members of Kansas City newspapers, radio stations and television crews, and approximately 24 Base Community Council members.
The load crew competition included an integrated combat turn, or ICT, and a static load. The ICT team included 6 crew members and the pilot. The weaponsload team included Sergeant Floyd, weapons load crew chief, Senior Master Sgt. Alvin Edwards III (then a staff sergeant), #2 man, and Senior Master Sgt. Mitchell Mozingo (then a staff sergeant), #3 man.
The team finished with a perfect score on the ICT load. The final event for the load team was the static load. In this competition, safety, technical expertise and precision are requirements for success. The team scored 1490 out of 1500 points. In the end the load crew returned home at the world champion weapons load team.
The 442nd Fighter Wing's scores from Gunsmoke '91 were 63 points higher than any other wing in the competition.
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To honor the deserving...
The 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. has awarded Master Sgt. Floyd Howe II, weapons section supervisor of the 442nd Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, with the Meritorious Service Medal and Citation.
The wing commander is scheduled to present the medal to Sergeant Howe's wife, Beth Howe, in a ceremony scheduled for spring 2011.
The medal is awarded in recognition of meritorious service from January 2004 through February 2011. In the Meritorious Service Medal and Citation, Sergeant Howe is recognized for playing an instrumental role in the success of the 442nd's deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan 2006.
Sergeant Howe proved his leadership abilities and work ethic as a weapons expeditor and supervisor and was critical in achieving record-breaking munitions expenditures with an unparalleled weapons- reliability rate against enemy forces during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Sergeant Howe played a critical role during the wing's operational readiness inspection in 2010. He directed multiple resources and concurrent operations while reacting to changing conditions and unforeseen limiting factors.
Sergeant Howe's subordinates and supervisors describe his unyielding dedication as providing them with comfort and instilling confidence.
Condolences from the Warthog News team to the entire Howe family.