Recovery of John-117

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Battle of Sector Six


URNA Southwest Campaign


Attack on Crow's Nest

Recovery of John-117
Master Chief & The Arbiter.jpg



November 17, 2552


South of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, East African Protectorate


Decisive UNSC victory


Unnamed Jiralhanae Chieftain




The Recovery of John-117 was a small engagement between the United Nations Space Command against the Covenant on November 17, 2552 in the Tanzanian jungles near Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. UNSC forces led by Sergeant Major Avery Johnson succeeded in recovering SPARTAN-II John-117 after his escape from the Anodyne Spirit.[2][1]


During the early morning of November 17, 2552, the Forerunner keyship Anodyne Spirit carrying the High Prophet of Truth arrived at Earth, smashing through the remnants of the UNSC Home Fleet that had been engaging Covenant warships over the planet for the last month. On board the keyship was Spartan John-117 who, after making a failed assassination attempt on the Prophet, was forced to flee from the ship.[3] Using a door as a heat shield, the Spartan bailed out of the Anodyne Spirit as it entered Earth's atmosphere. His trajectory and expected crash site was triangulated by S. Hartley, an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper fighting Covenant forces near Sector Six, Asia.[4] This would allow several squads of Marines led by Avery Johnson to locate the Spartan in the following hours.[2] John made landfall in a Tanzanian jungle south of Mount Kilimanjaro while the Forerunner vessel continued descending until it landed on the portal to the Ark, which had been excavated by Truth's fleet.[5]


Recovering John-117[edit]

Avery Johnson: "Radio for VTOL, heavy lift gear. We're not leaving him here."
John-117: "Yeah, you're not."
— John-117 after regaining consciousness.[2]

In the morning of 17 November 2552, Sergeant Major Avery Johnson led Gunnery SergeantMarcus Stacker's First Squad and Second Squad into the jungles of Tanzania to recover John-117, using the triangulation data acquired by forces fighting near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border in Sector Six.[2] Bravo Team, led by Gunnery Sergeant Reynolds, was also deployed nearby, closer to the extraction point at the river.[1]

Johnson and his team discovered the Spartan lying in a supine position at the end of an impact crater with his armor locked into place by its gel layer. The Spartan remained unconscious until the Corpsman partially unlocked John's armor, and the Spartan woke up just as Johnson instructed his Marines to call in heavy lifting gear to extract the Spartan. After John-117 reported Cortana had remained on High Charity, the Corpsman helped the calibrate the Spartan’s armor.[2]

The recovery team was joined by Arbiter Thel 'Vadam, who, upon disengaging his active camouflage, was briefly accosted by John-117. Johnson quickly defused the situation, and 'Vadam reported the Jiralhanae had caught their scent.[2]

Opening skirmishes[edit]

Johnson ordered First Squad to scout ahead. The squad moved ahead, with Second Squad along with himself, John-117 and 'Vadam following behind. As they made their way through the jungle, Johnson informed Reynolds that they had recovered the Master Chief. Although Reynolds responded in affirmative, soon afterward he and the rest of Bravo Team, while en route to the extraction point, came under attack by a Jiralhanae Chieftain and a Phantom, and they lost contact with Johnson's team.[1]

As Johnson's team approached a waterfall, they were forced to take cover as a Ru'swum-pattern Phantom flew overhead. Fearful that they would be spotted more quickly in a large unit, Johnson split the team. John-117 and 'Vadam went with First Squad while he took command of Second Squad. Johnson and Second Squad ascended a nearby cliff-face to take an alternate route to the extraction point at a nearby river. Soon after, First Squad was discovered by Covenant patrols, and they fought their way through the Covenant-occupied jungle.[1]

Near the extraction point, John-117 found a Jiralhanae Captain interrogating Reynolds and demanding the location of the nearby UNSC base, to which the Gunnery Sergeant refused to answer. Before the Brute could kill Reynolds, John-117 and his team managed to eliminate the Captain and his subordinates. The group, now accompanied by Reynolds, then continued their way toward the river.[1]

Failed extraction[edit]

"Come on, you dumb apes! You want breakfast? You gotta catch it!"
— Sergeant Johnson to pursuing Covenant forces.

Johnson and Second Squad were the first ones to arrive at the extraction point, where two Pelicans, including Echo 051, awaited. By the time John and his team reached the river, the Pelicans were under heavy fire from Covenant ground troops that had entrenched themselves around the river substation. Several Banshees soared in over the river, landing direct hits on the engines of both Pelicans. One dropship plummeted into the water beyond the dam while Echo 051 managed to clear the dam but smashed into a nearby cliff and tumbled out of sight. Several Phantoms then arrived, one of them suppressing the UNSC forces while the other deployed large numbers of Covenant reinforcements onto the dam. John and his team had fought their way through these newly-landed troops until they could re-enter the jungle.[1]

Echo 051 crashed approximately half a klick downstream from the river substation. Although Johnson and his Marines survived the crash, they were soon attacked by Covenant forces led by a Jiralhanae Chieftain. John-117 and 'Vadam fought through the jungle to witness Johnson and his Marines retreating into a cave from the crash site while under heavy fire. As John-117 and his team pursued Johnson into the cave, Pelican Kilo 023 was ordered by a controller at Crow's Nest to divert its flight plan for emergency evacuation.[1]

Rescue of Sergeant Johnson[edit]

"See how they bait their trap? I will help you spring it."
— Thel 'Vadam to John-117 as they prepare to rescue the captured Sergeant Johnson.

Traversing through the cave and arriving at the A2 Hydroelectric Facility, John-117 and 'Vadam found that Johnson had been captured by the Covenant; the two watched as the sergeant attempted to punch the commanding Jiralhanae Chieftain, only to get kicked into a small building and sealed behind a shield door. They led the surviving Marines into the facility, where they fought the Covenant forces under command of the same Chieftain.[1]

Upon rescuing Johnson, a pair of Phantom dropships entered the area. The dropships deployed more reinforcements while the firing their turrets on the UNSC forces. The team held off reinforcements for a few minutes, until Kilo 023 arrived, unloading barrages of missiles into both Phantoms, destroying them. The pilot then brought her dropship in to land on the dam, allowing the survivors to climb on board.


Kilo 023 then headed towards Crow's Nest, with Commander Miranda Keyes personally arriving to meet the group on the Pelican. There, the UNSC forces planned its attack on Covenant excavation site at Voi. The base would soon be attacked by the Covenant, which would conclude with John destroying the entire base with a bomb once all other UNSC personnel had evacuated.[6] The survivors would then mobilize for the assault on Voi.[7]



Naval assets[edit]

Military personnel[edit]

Branch Rank Name Status
UNSC Navy Gunnery Sergeant Marcus Stacker[1] Survived
Reynolds[1] Survived
Sergeant Major Avery Johnson Survived
Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 Survived
Lieutenant Hocus Survived


Ground forces[edit]

Covenant separatists[edit]

Naval assets[edit]

Military personnel[edit]

Branch Rank Name Status
N/A Arbiter Thel 'Vadam Survived


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Halo 3, campaign level Sierra 117
  2. ^ a b c d e f Halo 3, campaign level Arrival
  3. ^ Halo: Uprising
  4. ^ Halo: Last One Standing
  5. ^ Halo 3, campaign level The Storm
  6. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Crow's Nest
  7. ^ Halo 3, campaign level Tsavo Highway