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Alone at Dawn: Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World's Deadliest Special Operations Force Kindle Edition
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In the predawn hours of March 4, 2002, just below the 10,469-foot peak of a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, a fierce battle raged. Outnumbered by Al Qaeda fighters, Air Force Combat Controller John Chapman and a handful of Navy SEALs struggled to take the summit in a desperate bid to find a lost teammate.
Chapman, leading the charge, was gravely wounded in the initial assault. Believing he was dead, his SEAL leader ordered a retreat. Chapman regained consciousness alone, with the enemy closing in on three sides.
John Chapman's subsequent display of incredible valor -- first saving the lives of his SEAL teammates and then, knowing he was mortally wounded, single-handedly engaging two dozen hardened fighters to save the lives of an incoming rescue squad -- posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor. Chapman is the first airman in nearly fifty years to be given the distinction reserved for America's greatest heroes.
Alone at Dawn is also a behind-the-scenes look at the Air Force Combat Controllers: the world's deadliest and most versatile special operations force, whose members must not only exceed the qualifications of Navy SEAL and Army Delta Force teams but also act with sharp decisiveness and deft precision -- even in the face of life-threatening danger.
Drawing from firsthand accounts, classified documents, dramatic video footage, and extensive interviews with leaders and survivors of the operation, Alone at Dawn is the story of an extraordinary man's brave last stand and the brotherhood that forged him.
About the Author
LORI CHAPMAN LONGFRITZ is the second of four children born to Gene and Terry Chapman and shares the "middle child" slot with John. She was a longtime advocate for his Medal of Honor and is proud to share the story of her brother, who lived his life the way he died . . . on his terms and in service of others. She continues to write and enjoys speaking about John and the qualities that led to his final and selfless heroic act. Lori, her husband, and son, John, live in the "Forever West" town of Cheyenne, Wyoming. --This text refers to the audioCD edition.
"Alone at Dawn is a stunning portrayal of a true American hero, from an unknown unit of unsung acclaim, and consisting of unassuming patriots. John Chapman, Medal of Honor recipient, exemplifies all the traits of the most decorated wing in the U.S. Air Force."―Lt. Gen. Kurt A. Cichowski, USAF (Ret), former Assistant Director, CIA
"A blend of military history, wartime drama, and the incredible true story of Sergeant John Chapman-the first Air Force Medal of Honor recipient since the Vietnam War-Alone at Dawn delivers blood-pumping action, heart-warming kindness, and an insider account of the most courageous individuals on the planet. Dan Schilling makes epic military heroism come alive and reminds us what true purpose is all about; and Lori Longfritz, John's sister, offers a poignant perspective on her brother's life, which was extraordinary long before his heroic one-man stand."―Deborah Lee James, 23rd secretary of the US Air Force
"Alone at Dawn is riveting and powerful. This stunning account reveals for the first time one of the most extraordinary acts of valor and courage in the annals of U.S. history. With this book, USAF CCT John Chapman now rightfully takes his place as an iconic hero of the Afghanistan War. All Americans should honor and enshrine the memory of such undaunted self-sacrifice and valor."―Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, USA (Ret.), author of On Killing, On Combat, and Assassination Generation
"A long-overdue account not just of one hero but an entire force of heroes. Documenting Chapman's final mission, Schilling and Longfritz recreate the blood-soaked, desperate battle in all its dramatic detail, then fearlessly delineate the most terrible choice combat can demand. It's a story that will upset some and inspire many, but will leave no reader unchanged."―Jim DeFelice, coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestselling American Sniper
"Alone at Dawn is inspired by the life and heroism of Medal of Honor recipient John Chapman. The genius of the book is that readers will also learn what a Combat Controller does, and why every team of Delta, SEALS, and Green Berets want their Air Force Special Tactics professionals with them whenever they engage in battle. The men on Takur Ghar, where seven Americans were killed in action in service to their country, were doomed by classic examples of senior military incompetence and inter-service rivalry. That terrible tragedy will never diminish the bravery of those who fought on and above the mountain in March of 2002, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, especially MSgt John Chapman, USAF."―James G. Roche, 20th secretary of the Air Force
"A brave book about a brave warrior and the long overdue acknowledgment of the history and the contributions made by the men of the 24th Special Tactics Squadron (aka Air Force Combat Controllers)."―Pete Blaber, former commander Delta Force and author of The Mission, The Men, and Me
"This is a story of heroism of not only of one man, John Chapman, but a heroic breed of American warriors-Air Force Combat Controllers. It is a gripping account of Chapman's last moments and pays homage to a brotherhood dedicated to keep America safe and free."―Dr. Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response, Former Deputy Staff Director, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and Special Assistant to President George W. Bush
"As one of our nation's most elite special operations forces, Combat Controllers not only jump, dive, shoot, and maneuver with the best, they uniquely combine these skills with absolute mastery of three-dimensional battlespace to deliver lethal and precision airpower, making them the deadliest force on any battlefield. Among even this exceptional and select brotherhood, John Chapman's heroism on Takur Ghar is without equal in America's longest war."―Lt Gen Donny Wurster, USAF (ret), former commander, Air Force Special Operations Command
"The men who serve in Combat Control whose incredible story is presented in this book aren't asking for recognition. No late night talk show, video game or film could possibly begin to convey the intensity of the experience, the fear, the sense of duty and valor, the bonds that unite these men and, above all, the inner feelings and motivation of someone who has stepped up and accepted the challenge of this toughest of Missions."―Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter, musician, national security specialist --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B07HF3CN5G
- Publisher : Grand Central Publishing; Illustrated edition (June 25, 2019)
- Publication date : June 25, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 43773 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 353 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #54,770 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2020
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Top reviews from the United States
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The general public for the most part not only has any idea who or what Combat Controllers are, but how versatile they must be, to be attached to any other special operations unit to include foreign SOF. I think this book does a simply amazing job of showcasing their capabilities as well as some of the unsung heroes attached to the events which are the focus of the book. Through the years regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Special Tactics community has lost a great many of their fellow brothers and there have also been a great many Combat Controllers through their heroic actions that have saved the teams they were attached to by their bravery under fire and their skillsets. I'm proud to have known a lot of these warriors during my time with the teams.
We had been out 4 days in 150 degree heat and 40 degree nights and we looked like we belonged under a bridge smoking meth out of lightbulbs.
The chow hall in Balad was packed and we eat together no matter what but we couldn’t find a table until this surfer dude waves us over and he has the CCT patch and to us he’s a God.
He cleared two tables of SF and SOTA bubbas and sat with us the entire time asking what he could do for us to improve our comms with Air Weapons and the Handcuff Charlie network.
Nobody had ever asked us questions and taken notes like he had and you could tell he was genuine.
I think his callsign was Shrek and we bumped in to him 3 months later after our relief and he remembered each one of us and asked after wives, gfs, and kids by name and number.
I know most of this isn’t ground breaking but if you’re a Marine Infantryman you know you’re the dirt that holds up the totem pole in the eyes of the other branches.
For him to remember our faces, names, spouses, etc, 90 days later only attributes to the Tier 1 level these Hitters operate on.
I’m nothing special and I would give my right arm to have half the courage of John Chapman.
To all the Pajamas and Chucks out there; a sincere thank you from a dime a dozen 03 for everything you’ve done and continue to do.
Top reviews from other countries
I knew these combat controllers existed, but I never in a million years realised the scope of what they do and what they have to attain to get there.
As with all books of this nature, a good chunk of the start is building up, giving an insight into the roll of CCT and the people involved, but it’s worth it because when you get to the operation itself you have such an investment in the guys going into the thick of it.
All of those guys were hero’s, but when you read about what John actually did, and try and understand what must have been going through his mind at the time, it is truly mind blowing.
I can honestly say I have never had chills and a lump in my throat from reading a book before.
Chapter 21 will leave you in utter disbelief and chalet 24 will have you welling up, guaranteed.
You absolute have to read this book!!