Citation to Accompany the Award ofThe Air Force Cross
John A. Chapman
Technical Sergeant John A. Chapman distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in military operations against an armed enemy of the United States as a 24th Special Tactics Squadron Combat Controller in the vicinity of Gardez, in the eastern highlands of Afghanistan. On 4 March 2002, during his helicopter insertion for a reconnaissance and time-sensitive targeting close air support mission, Sergeant Chapman's aircraft came under heavy machine gun fire and received a direct hit from a rocket propelled grenade. A United States Navy Sea-Air-Land team member fell from the aircraft. Though heavily damaged, the aircraft made an emergency landing seven kilometers away. Once on the ground Sergeant Chapman made contact with an AC-130 gunship to insure the area was secure while providing close air support for the entire team. He then directed the gunship to begin the search for the missing team member. He requested, coordinated, and controlled the helicopter that extracted the stranded team and aircrew members, limiting their exposure to hostile fire. Without regard for his own life, Sergeant Chapman volunteered to rescue his missing team member from an enemy stronghold. Shortly after insertion,
Sergeant Chapman engaged and killed two enemy personnel. He continued to advance, and engaged a dug-in machine gun nest. When the rescue team came under effective enemy fire from three directions, Sergeant Chapman exchanged fire with the enemy from minimum personal cover until he succumbed to multiple wounds. His actions enabled his team to move to cover and break enemy contact, saving the lives of the entire rescue team. Through his extraordinary heroism, superb airmanship, aggressiveness in the face of the enemy, and in the dedication of his service to his country, Sergeant Chapman reflected the highest credit upon himself and the United States Air Force.