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Alone at Dawn

Medal of Honor Recipient John Chapman and the Untold Story of the World's Deadliest Special Operations Force
Length: 11 hrs and 23 mins
5 out of 5 stars (136 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The astonishing 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 10,000-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 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, beginning the most difficult and exceptional fight of his life. 

John Chapman's incredible display of valor - first by saving the lives of his SEAL teammates and then, aware that 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 50 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Dan Schilling and Lori Longfritz (P)2019 Grand Central Publishing

Critic Reviews

"The men who serve in Combat Control whose incredible story is presented in this book aren't asking for recognition. No late night talk show, video game, or film could possibly begin to convey the intensity of the experience, the fear, the sense of duty and valor, the bonds that unite these men and, above all, the inner feelings and motivation of someone who has stepped up and accepted the challenge of this toughest of Missions." (Jeffrey "Skunk" Baxter, musician, national security specialist)

"Alone at Dawn is riveting and powerful. This stunning account reveals for the first time one of the most extraordinary acts of valor and courage in the annals of US history. With this book, USAF CCT John Chapman now rightfully takes his place as an iconic hero of the Afghanistan War. All Americans should honor and enshrine the memory of such undaunted self-sacrifice and valor." [Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, USA (ret.), author of On Killing, On Combat, and Assassination Generation]

"As one of our nation's most elite special operations forces, Combat Controllers not only jump, dive, shoot, and maneuver with the best, they uniquely combine these skills with absolute mastery of three-dimensional battlespace to deliver lethal and precision airpower, making them the deadliest force on any battlefield. Among even this exceptional and select brotherhood, John Chapman's heroism on Takur Ghar is without equal in America's longest war." [Lt. Gen. Donny Wurster, USAF (ret.), former commander, Air Force Special Operations Command]

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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One of the Most Accurate and Compelling Account

Alone at Dawn, is clearly one of the best accounts of the history of the Combat Controll Community. Having served with this community for over 30 yrs and supported this mission during these events. This is the most honest and truthful accounts of the missions and the herosism both on the top of that mountain and across the battlefield.

John Chapman was an incredible leaders. He treated support community as a part of his team. I have never know a person who had a bad word to say of him. The specific story of his caring about those who he cared for in school, well that man never level of caring never left him! He was that guy!

The presentation of the MoH, had hundreds of amazing friend from John's youth, his dive coach, childhood friends, and teammates was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. John's life was incredible, and his MoH was the same way, That ceremony was one of the only one of the White House Ceremonies that was concluded in Whistles and Cheers along with Valerie lifting the Medal of Honor and holding to the sky!

This is one of the greatest books I have read.

CMSgt Frank Dailey

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Great Book from the CCT POV

Great. fucking. book. Period.

I have spent time listening to all of the other books concerning the events during and outcome of the Battle for Roberts Ridge, aka Takur Ghar, aka Operation Anaconda. Only one I enjoyed half as much of this was from Pete Blaber. CCTs are an unrecognized and absolutely integral part of modern day warfare and this book lays it out there for what they stand for and one of the single most documented MoH write ups to date.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Must read!!

Endless great books written about delta & ST6. It’s nice to finally have Chappy and the wider STS community chronicled the way in which it deserved. Having chappy’s last heroic moments contextualized like this was heartbreaking yet largely inspirational. I loved this book👍👍

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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CCT story finally told during this incredible book

The story of John Chapman was well written and I am glad it was told. I am also glad this book covered what CCT life and training is like. I was a part of 93-001 (Balls 1) at the OL-H. This book brought back incredible memories. Thanks You!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • Austin, TX
  • 07-05-19

Wow!

Thank God we have such men.

I found this a fascinating look into such an elite but poorly known unit, and such a moving chronicle of the life and death of one of its most famous members. I liked that we also got well documented accounts of other battles CCT were involved with in the early days of the war. I very much hope for a companion book to tell their tale since Anaconda to the present day.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great book interesting story

an amazing story of an incredible man and an amazing unit. I would like to hear more of these stories

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Better than Roberts Ridge

Was expecting just a regular formula biography. This book was so much more. At least 2 books in one. Very vivid and exciting. Informative and never boring. I listen to audible books every day this is the best one I’ve had in a awhile. Will relisten regularly

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The author does the hero no favors.

Way over the top. The author butchers this attempt at making a hero out of John Chapman.

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Wasted chance to honor a hero.

As a Green Beret who has worked closely with CCTs I had VERY high hopes for this book - but... The author seemed intent on proving how badass CCTs were rather than focusing on Chapman and his story. I do like how he pulled no punches on the BS the other players pulled - but again - it just seemed like he had an personal agenda other than to tell Chapman's story.

Narrator was really bad - had me rolling my eyes several times.

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AATW

great story of the battle at takur ghur.
John Chapman is a true American hero.
didnt care for the top brass arguing about let my men fight in the battle. Thats just egos i get it having been in Army myself. it made realize how important it was to have a CCT member on a strike force team. John Chapman, never forgoten. RIP warrior.