Story by Devyn Waits.
For our Fallen Warrior commemoration this week, we remember Master Sgt. John Chapman, 24th Special Tactics Squadron combat controller.
Chapman was born July 14, 1965, growing up in Windsor Locks, Connecticut. At Windsor Locks High School, he shined as a varsity soccer player and enjoyed muscle cars. His family always took note of his eagerness to take on a challenge and how he was always ready to lend a helping hand. In 1985, Chapman joined the Air Force, initially serving as an information systems operator until he retrained as a combat controller.
On March 4, 2002, as a part of Operation Anaconda, Chapman and a Navy SEAL Team observed enemy activity in Takur Ghar, Afghanistan. During insertion, enemy forces attacked the team’s MH-47 Chinook, forcing it to crash land.
A second Chinook carried the team back up the hill, where they engaged the enemy to rescue a fallen comrade. Chapman attacked and destroyed the position of several entrenched enemies before seeing other insurgents attacking from a different strong point.
Chapman moved to open ground to attack uphill at a steep incline while thigh-deep in snow. In the face of danger, Chapman continued assaulting the enemy with single-minded dedication and devotion to the welfare of his team, until he made the ultimate sacrifice, saving the lives of many others.
He earned the Air Force Cross on that same day, and upon further review of his decoration, was upgraded to a Medal of Honor in 2018. Chapman is survived by his wife, Valerie and their two daughters, Madison and Brianna.
This story by Airman 1st Class Devyn Waits, 81st Training Wing Public Affairs, was first published by the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service. DVIDS content is in the public domain. The Fallen Warrior series highlights Fallen Warriors who exemplify our Special Tactics core values and paid the ultimate sacrifice.