Trump presents Medal of Honor posthumously to Airman who died fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan


President Donald Trump on Wednesday presented the Medal of Honor posthumously to Tech. Sgt. John Chapman, who is the first Airman to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War.

He is the 19th Airman in the service’s history to receive the Medal of Honor. His spouse, Valerie Nessel, was presented with the award.


Chapman is given the Medal of Honor for “his conspicuous gallantry and valorous actions on March 4, 2002, during the Battle of Takur Ghar in Afghanistan.”

Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman, shown at the rank of Senior Airman, will be the 19th Airman awarded the Medal of Honor since the Department of the Air Force was established in 1947. (Courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs)

“Chappy,” as the combat controller was known by his teammates, was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2002 in the early years of the war.

As a combat controller, Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman was trained and equipped for immediate deployment into combat operations. Trained to infiltrate in combat and austere environments, he was an experienced static line and military free fall jumper, and combat diver. (Courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs)

The Air Force recently released surveillance footage from Chapman’s final moments during the Battle of Roberts Ridge in March 2002.

Watch the footage here:

Chapman was part of an elite Special Operations team that was targeting terrorists in eastern Afghanistan, along the Pakistan border.

Fallen Air Force Combat Controller Tech. Sgt. John A. Chapman will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, August 22, 2018. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for heroism in military action that the Nation can bestow on a member of its Armed Forces. (Courtesy of Air Force Public Affairs Office)

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