HomeNewsArticle Display

Medal of Honor recipient John Chapman memorialized at 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron

MSgt John Chapman was commemorated during a Medal of Honor dedication at Pope Army Airfield on May 30th.

A life-size figure of Master Sgt. John Chapman stands in the center of the Benini Heritage Center at Pope Army Airfield, N.C., May 30, 2019. The statue was commemorated during a Medal of Honor dedication highlighting his heroics in battle. Master Sgt. Chapman is the first Airman posthumously awarded the medal since the Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Maj. Jolene Bottor-Ortiona)

MSgt John Chapman was commemorated during a Medal of Honor dedication at Pope Army Airfield on May 30th.

Special Warfare Airman and trainees listen as Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Stephen W. Wilson speaks about Medal of Honor recipient, Master Sgt. John Chapman during a Medal of Honor dedication at Pope Army Airfield, N.C., May 30, 2019. A life-size statue of Master Sgt. Chapman was commemorated during the Medal of Honor dedication highlighting his heroics in battle. Master Sgt. Chapman is the first Airman posthumously awarded the medal since Vietnam War. (U.S. Air Force photo by Alexander Goad)

Pope Army Airfield, N.C. (AFNS) --

Master Sgt. John Chapman was commemorated during a Medal of Honor dedication at Pope Army Airfield, May 30.

A life-size figure of Chapman, a hand-drawn portrait and a replica of his Medal of Honor were unveiled and placed on permanent display at the Benini Heritage Center, a nationally-recognized museum that is part of the 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron, home of the Combat Control Apprentice Course. An outdoor memorial ceremony hosted by Col. James Hughes followed the reveal, with Ms. Valerie Nessel, the spouse of Chapman and other Gold Star spouses: Melanie Sather and Tabitha Brown and memorial keynote speaker, Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. Stephen W. Wilson.

Hughes extended his thanks to the Gold Star families that came out to the event, stating that their presence means more to the Special Warfare community than they realized. His sentiment was met with a standing ovation in thanks of their enduring support.

“Pope Air Force Base, now Pope Army Airfield, is a special place in the history of Air Force combat control and special tactics over the past four decades. It is a special place for John Chapman, where you have the combat control schoolhouse he went through,” Hughes said. “Memorializing him here, where we forge the next generation of Special Tactics warriors is particularly fitting.”

Combat control is the most highly-decorated career field in the Air Force for acts of valor since the Vietnam War. The museum was put into place upon the building of the schoolhouse in order to inspire the students and instructors on a daily basis. The figure of Chapman and the replica of his Medal of Honor are placed at the entrance to the schoolhouse as a centerpiece for the museum, to both inspire and remind students of the sacrifices of the fallen.

“This is truly the intersection of heritage and heroes,” Wilson said. “Every Airman here has measured themselves or has been inspired in past centuries by heroes like Levitow, Pitsenbarger, Sijan. They will do the same for John Chapman and they will do it for years to come.”

Prior to the event, Nessel had the opportunity to address the upcoming graduating class of combat controllers.

“It is particularly impactful that John’s legacy is standing guard over the future of our combat control community; a community I consider to be family.” Nessel said. “I hope John’s dedication and sacrifice continue to inspire the next generation of heroes who are answering the call to serve and protect our nation and that they always remember the stories of those who have gone before them, so their names are never forgotten.”

Maj. Michael Bain, 352nd Special Warfare Training Squadron commander, was a close friend and teammate of Chapman’s. He and others made it possible to have the likeness and Medal of Honor replica housed in the Heritage Center.

“(Chapman) understood the capabilities that combat controllers bring to the fight and it was a badge of honor to know that he was on my team,” Bain said. “He was the first friend to go, and sometimes, I don’t feel like we talk enough about him. Having him memorialized at the schoolhouse feels like a way of bringing him home.”

For more information on Msgt. John Chapman and his heroism, visit: https://static.dma.mil/usaf/medalofhonor-chapman/

Engage

Facebook Twitter
RT @HQ_AFMC: Q: What's the best way to strip the paint of an @usairforce F-16❓ A: How about a laser-wielding robot 🤖! Our maintainers at…
Our thoughts and prayers goes out to the friends and family members during this difficult time. https://t.co/848Rx4CdVU
RT @HQAirUniversity: Lt. Gen. James Hecker assumed command of Air University today.  Welcome to AU, Sir! https://t.co/SZVOVZDo78 https://t.…
RT @DeptofDefense: Music is a universal language. It’s a unifying language. Over the summer, the @usairforce music ensemble, Final Approach…
RT @JointBasePHH: #DYK that here at JBPHH, Hawai'i Air National Guard and active duty @usairforce members work side-by-side to generate air…
RT @RamsteinAirBase: @SecAFOfficial and @GenDaveGoldfein have arrived at the #WorldsBestWing! If given the chance, what would you ask the…
RT @AFSpace: We have to combat today's conflict with tomorrow's technology. Check out what Dr. @neiltyson had to say about innovation when…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: Airmen with #AFAFRICA and the @AirNatlGuard, along with 25 African partner nations, are currently in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire,…
Want to know more about @SecAFOfficial Barbara Barrett? Read on to hear her story. https://t.co/3HPtw0tO4t https://t.co/6FtIZZ7RJh
RT @WhiteHouse: The artists and pioneers receiving the National Medal of the Arts today have entertained millions, enriched American art an…
RT @71FTW: An aircraft mishap has occured on Vance AFB. Follow #VanceUpdates for more information.
RT @CJTFOIR: #CJTFOIR Airmen received coins from @GenDaveGoldfein during a trip with @SecAFOfficial to forward operating base Union III, Ir…
RT @KadenaAirBase: "In order to #operate, all you need is a runway, a ramp, fuel bladder, a trailer full of munitions, a pallet of MREs, an…
RT @AFCareers: Air Force releases details of FY20 Selective Retention Bonus program, effective tomorrow. #airforce https://t.co/yhLx2wl7lb…
RT @HQUSAFEPA: “Moving forward, we must be the blunt force ready to counterpunch when deterrence fails...the tyranny of proximity makes wor…
RT @USAFHealth: Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, Critical Care Air Transport, and Aeromedical Evacuation teams came together on a histo…
#Airmen thinking of trying CBD oil should think again. Read on to see why... https://t.co/R2KXHaEi0A https://t.co/5190wr0AIm