Laura Ashley Piper

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After intelligence training at Goodfellow AFB, she was stationed at Ramstein AFB, Germany. From there, she was given a TDY assignment to Turkey for duty in Northern Iraq with "Operation Provide Comfort". This mission was aimed at supporting Kurdish refugees in the region.

Unfortunately, she, along with 25 passengers and crew, were killed by "friendly fire" while flying on U.S. Army Blackhawk U-60 helicopters. The Army helicopters were attacked and shot down by two U.S. Air Force F-15s (of Incirlik AB) in the "no-fly zone" of Northern Iraq. Apparently, misidentifying the American helicopters as Russian made "Hinds", the pilots of the F-15s attacked and launched their missiles. (See details at websites listed.)

Laura was the first female Air Force Academy graduate to be killed in combat and awarded the Purple Heart