Designed for easy transport by helicopters or light vehicles, the M102 105mm cannon first saw service in Southeast Asia with the U.S. Army in 1966. The M102's light weight made it well-suited for use on AC-130 gunships. One of the side-firing 40mm guns on the AC-130 was replaced with the modified 105mm cannon to increase the firepower.
Test fired from the museum's AC-130A, the gun on display was not used in combat. Other AC-130 gunships, however, used the powerful 105mm cannon effectively against enemy targets.