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Staff Sergeant Christopher Jones Chapman
May 11, 1965 - February 11, 1991
SSG Chapman was born in Charlotte, North Carolina on 11 May 1965. He graduated from West Charlotte High School in 1983. While attending high school, SSG Chapman completed three years of Jr. ROTC. He was also a member of the Boy Scouts of America and had attained the prestigious honor of Eagle Scout. He joined the Army in 1984, becoming an Airborne Infantryman. He was assigned to Charlie Company, 2/508th INF (Abn) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina following Airborne School. While assigned to Fort Bragg, he received the Expert Infantrymen’s Badge and also successfully completed the Army Sniper School.
SSG Chapman made a career change in November 1985 and transitioned to Aviation by attending the UH-60 tactical helicopter repair course. He graduated as the Distinguished Honor Graduate of his class #11-86 at Fort Eustis, Virginia. Upon completion of this training, he was assigned to Hotel Company, 227 AVN Regt, Hanau, Germany. In June 1989, he volunteered for service with the 160th, serving as a crew chief in Charlie Company, 1st Battalion.
He served in the maintenance platoon during Operation Just Cause, working many long and arduous hours repairing bullet-riddled aircraft to ensure they were ready to safely return to battle in just a few hours. After Panama, he became a crew chief and was assigned to Charlie Company's 1st Flight Assault Platoon where he successfully served as a Fully Mission Qualified crew chief.
On 21 February 1991, SSG Chapman was a member of the crew that responded to a request for an urgent medical evacuation deep in enemy territory. His mission was conducted at an extremely low altitude to evade air defense artillery threat. After the extraction of the injured Soldier and while returning to the medical facility, his aircraft encountered a sandstorm and the pilots lost visual reference with the ground. His aircraft, #251, crashed and he selflessly gave his life for his country. SSG Chapman was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal with “V” device for valor for his outstanding heroism.
SSG Chapman is survived by his wife, Merry; daughter, Sonja; step-sons, Eric and Gavin; mother, Beverly and brothers, Michael and Mark. He is laid to rest in Charlotte, North Carolina at Back Creek ARP Church Cemetery. Chapman Hall on General Brown Compound is dedicated in his honor.
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