Most Read
    Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

    Remembering the first American killed in Afghanistan, November 25, 2001

    Remembering the first American killed in Afghanistan, November 25, 2001

    CIA Special Operations Officer Johnny “Mike” Spann, RIP.

    On November 25, 2001, the first American was killed in the Afghan war, during a prisoner uprising in northern Afghanistan.

    He was a CIA special operations officer.  His name was Johnny “Mike” Spann.  His story is not told often enough.

    We have written of Mike Spann several times before, each one documenting a different aspect of his life and family he left behind:

    (Family of Mike Spann at cemetery)

    Here’s a brief description of his story:

    The story of this small band of men has been told, but not told enough.

    Spann was killed during the Battle of Qala-i-Jangi when Taliban prisoners gained access to weapons and attacked.

    Spann was killed during that uprising (see video).  One of the prisoners was the so-called American Taliban, John Walker Lyndh, who Spann interrogated shortly before Spann’s death.

    Spann’s wife Shannon also worked for the CIA.  In addition to his wife, Spann left behind two daughters and an infant son

    Spann’s family established a website to honor his life, and there is a wealth of information and photos at his Arlington National Cemetery page.

    There is an interesting honor paid to Spann at the website of Afghan General and Warlord Abdul Radhis Dostum, including a link to a photo of the memorial to Spann at the site of the uprising in which he died.

    His oldest child, daughter Alison, remembered him last April:

    Alison Spann Looks Back on Afghan War from Andrew Smith on Vimeo.



    Donations tax deductible
    to the full extent allowed by law.


    Henry Hawkins | November 25, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Spann lived a full life before he even got to the military. He was a licensed private pilot, parachutist and certified rescue diver – as a 17 year old.

    Worse for the family, the mother of two of Spann’s kids died of cancer just a month or so after Spann died.

    RIP, soldier.

    Leave a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    You must be logged in to post a comment.

    Notify me of followup comments via e-mail (or subscribe without commenting.)

    Font Resize
    Contrast Mode
    Send this to a friend