Howard E. Sweeney, 84, a retired Air Force major whose military career spanned two decades, died of brain cancer Oct. 28 at his home in the District.

Mr. Sweeney's military service began in the Army, and he participated in the D-Day invasion at Normandy during World War II.

Later, he was mobilized during the Korean War into the Air Force. His service included tours of duty as commander of transportation squadrons in Baltimore; at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.; Burtonwood, England; Japan; and Vietnam.

He also was a senior instructor at Officer Training School at Lackland Air Force Base, Tex., where he was responsible for the military instructional division, writing student and teacher textbooks for the school of 200 instructors. He also served as counselor to students interested in transportation careers.

He retired in 1970. Among his commendations was the Bronze Medal.

Mr. Sweeney, a native of Canton, Ohio, came to Washington in 1936 and graduated from Dunbar High School. He received his bachelor's degree from Howard University, where he served as cadet colonel of the ROTC program.

He also studied at the University of New Mexico, Sacramento State College, University of Liverpool in England and Northwestern University in Illinois.

After retiring from the Air Force, he directed the Wing Tours Office for the 475th Air Base Group, 5th Air Force, in Fuchu, Japan. He later taught history courses at Christ the King High School on Okinawa.

His volunteer work in Washington included the Senior Connection program at Providence Hospital and teaching general equivalency diploma classes at Sacred Heart Catholic Church's adult education center.

Mr. Sweeney was a Master Mason and served as illustrious potentate of the Obelisk Temple in Okinawa. He was also a fourth-degree member of Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen, East Coast chapter.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Arlyn Sweeney of Washington; three children, Howard Patrick Sweeney of Fairfield, Calif., Shawn Michael Sweeney of Denver and Sharyn Michele Burden of Dublin, Calif.; a brother; 11 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.