Under certain circumstances, fighters are permitted to strafe an enemy's gunship. May I assume that the fighter symbol on the die is what is used to determine hits to the gunship, similar to the manner in which hits on enemy fighters are determined?
Correct. This was actually a difficult hurdle for my group to understand, too.
Assuming this is the case, and the enemy gunship is hit, is the location of the hit determined the same way a hit from an opposing gunship is determined, by rolling a d8?
Yes, this is correct, and the hit card is taken from the discard pile.