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Almost immediately, the team began taking machine gun fire from another fortified enemy position only 12 meters away. Chapman graduated from Windsor Locks High School, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, in 1983. 27, 1985, as an information systems operator and later volunteered to be a combat controller, tasked to solve air and ground problems across the spectrum of conflict and crisis.Sergeant Chapman deliberately moved into the open to engage the new enemy position. From basic training, Chapman's first assignment as an information systems operator was at the 1987th Information Systems Squadron at Lowry Air Force Base, Colorado.Thus began the chain of events that led to unparalleled acts of valor by numerous joint special operations forces, the deaths of seven U. servicemen and now, 16 years later, posthumous award of the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Chapman.
Dating back to his high school days, he made the varsity soccer squad as a freshman.
Also an avid muscle-car enthusiast, he rebuilt and maintained an old Pontiac GTO. Only about one in ten Airmen who start the program graduate.
“In a very high-caliber career field, with the highest quality of men – even then – John stood out as our guy.” During the initial insertion onto Afghanistan’s Takur Ghar mountaintop on March 4, the MH-47 “Chinook” helicopter carrying Sergeant Chapman and the joint special operations reconnaissance team was ambushed.
A rocket propelled grenade struck the helicopter and bullets ripped through the fuselage.
“This was very high profile, no-fail job, and we picked John,” said retired Air Force Col.
Ken Rodriguez, Sergeant Chapman’s commander at the time.
In 1989, he cross-trained to become an Air Force combat controller.
According to friends and family, Sergeant Chapman had a tendency to make the difficult look effortless, and consistently sought new challenges.
“He would come home from a long trip and immediately have on his father hat – feeding, bathing, reading and getting his girls ready for bed,” said Chief Master Sgt. The mountain of Takur Ghar was an ideal spot for such an observation post, with excellent visibility to key locations.
“They were his life and he was proud of them…to the Air Force he was a great hero…what I saw was a great father.” The Battle of Takur Ghar In conjunction with Operation Anaconda in March 2002, small reconnaissance teams were tasked to establish observation posts in strategic locations in Afghanistan, and when able, direct U. For Sergeant Chapman and his joint special operations teammates, the mission on the night of March 3 was to establish a reconnaissance position on Takur Ghar and report al Qaeda movement in the Sahi-Kowt area.