The First Medal of Honor Ever Recorded

The First Medal of Honor Ever Recorded | Frontline Videos

YouTube / Dan Schilling Books


The Heroic Story of John Chapman’s Last Stand

John Chapman and members of the US Navy Seals volunteered to rescue Navy SEAL Neil C. Roberts from the enemy’s bunker. 

The footage shows Chapman and his team taking fire from all directions when they exited the MH-47. Regardless, Chapman pushed forward into the summit and began engaging targets with his M4. He then forces his way upslope in thigh-deep snow while constantly under fire. 

Just up the slope was Bunker #1, containing two enemy fighters armed with AK-47s, and the dead body of Neil Roberts. Despite point-bank gunfire, Chapman rushed into the bunker and kills the two combatants, saving the lives of his teammates. This action earned him his first Medal of Honor. 

However, Bunker #2 was also nearby #1 – manned by a handful of Chechen and Uzbek fighters with a PKM machine gun, hand grenades, and RPGs. John Chapman was shot twice in the torso shortly after gaining control of Bunker #1 and collapsed afterward. 

His team decided to fight the men at Bunker #2 to no avail. Deciding to fall back, the team leader asks for uncontrolled airstrikes from an AC-130 gunship. Neither the SEALs nor the AC-130 knew that Chapman was still alive and experiencing these detonations from his position. 

At approximately 5:20 AM, Chapman recovers and engages the enemy. At this time, he was already experiencing a lot of blood loss and shock. 

Footage shows that Chapman was still alive at 6:05 AM and has received more gunshot and shrapnel wounds as a result of his one-man stand. At 6:13, with a choice to save his life or the lives of his teammates, Chapman decides to climb out of the bunker and began firing in multiple directions. 

As he fights, the helicopter is struck by an RPG and performs a crash landing just below Chapman’s position. 

Nevertheless, the brave John Chapman continued to open fire as his comrades pour out of the stricken helicopter. This heroic and extremely unselfish act qualified him for his second Medal of Honor. 

Chapman would succumb to his injuries after sixteen bullet and shrapnel wounds. His decisions and actions single-handedly saved the lives of 23 men.


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