Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times bestselling true account of John Chapman, Medal of Honor recipient and Special Ops Combat Controller, and his heroic one-man stand during the Afghan War, as he sacrificed his life to save the lives of 23 comrades-in-arms.
In the predawn hours of March 4, 2002, just below the 10,469-foot peak of a mountain in eastern Afghanistan, a fierce battle raged. Outnumbered by Al Qaeda fighters, Air Force Combat Controller John Chapman and a handful of Navy SEALs struggled to take the summit in a desperate bid to find a lost teammate.
Chapman, leading the charge, was gravely wounded in the initial assault. Believing he was dead, his SEAL leader ordered a retreat. Chapman regained consciousness alone, with the enemy closing in on three sides.
John Chapman's subsequent display of incredible valor — first saving the lives of his SEAL teammates and then, knowing he was mortally wounded, single-handedly engaging two dozen hardened fighters to save the lives of an incoming rescue squad — posthumously earned him the Medal of Honor. Chapman is the first airman in nearly fifty years to be given the distinction reserved for America's greatest heroes.
Alone at Dawn is also a behind-the-scenes look at the Air Force Combat Controllers: the world's deadliest and most versatile special operations force, whose members must not only exceed the qualifications of Navy SEAL and Army Delta Force teams but also act with sharp decisiveness and deft precision — even in the face of life-threatening danger.
Drawing from firsthand accounts, classified documents, dramatic video footage, and extensive interviews with leaders and survivors of the operation, Alone at Dawn is the story of an extraordinary man's brave last stand and the brotherhood that forged him.
"A long-overdue account not just of one hero but an entire force of heroes. Documenting Chapman's final mission, Schilling and Longfritz recreate the blood-soaked, desperate battle in all its dramatic detail, then fearlessly delineate the most terrible choice combat can demand. It's a story that will upset some and inspire many, but will leave no reader unchanged." Jim DeFelice, coauthor of the #1 New York Times bestselling American Sniper
"Dan Schilling makes epic military heroism come alive and reminds us what true purpose is all about; and Lori Longfritz, John's sister, offers a poignant perspective on her brother's life, which was extraordinary long before his heroic one-man stand." Deborah Lee James, 23rd secretary of the US Air Force
"Alone at Dawn is a stunning portrayal of a true American hero, from an unknown unit of unsung acclaim, and consisting of unassuming patriots. John Chapman, Medal of Honor recipient, exemplifies all the traits of the most decorated wing in the U.S. Air Force." Lt. Gen. Kurt A. Cichowski, USAF (Ret), former Assistant Director, CIA
About the Author
A 30-year special operations and Combat Control veteran, Dan Schilling has numerous combat and clandestine deployments around the world, including the operation popularly known as Black Hawk Down where he is credited with saving the lives of a Ranger and SEAL under fire. He later founded and then served as the first commander of two special operations squadrons. An adrenaline enthusiast, he holds the Guinness world record for most BASE jumps in 24 hours (201), is a mountain speedwing pilot and ski instructor at Wasatch Adaptive Sports, helping those with challenges gain independence through skiing. He and his wife live in the alpine town of Alta, Utah.
Lori Chapman Longfritz is the second of four children born to Gene and Terry Chapman and shares the "middle child" slot with John. She was a longtime advocate for his Medal of Honor and is proud to share the story of her brother, who stood out from the ordinary long before he ever put on a uniform. Lori, her husband, and son, John, live in the "forever west" town of Cheyenne, Wyoming.