- ""Mayday, mayday, mayday. This is UNSC FFG-201 Forward Unto Dawn, requesting immediate evac. Survivors aboard. Prioritization code: Victor Zero Five dash Three dash Sierra Zero One One Seven."
- — The final transmission of the Dawn
It was also more commonly known by UNSC personnel as "The Dawn".
Battle of EarthEdit
- Main article: Battle of Earth
The UNSC fleet suffered heavy casualties during the Covenant assault on Earth. By the time John-117 arrived from Installation 05 aboard the Prophet of Truth's Forerunner Dreadnought, Forward Unto Dawn was one of the few ships that remained of the UNSC Home Fleet. The ship was designated by Fleet Admiral Terrence Hood as his flagship. Hood agreed to commit Forward Unto Dawn and two other frigates against the grounded Dreadnought on the Portal, once the Spartan punched a hole in the enemy's local air defenses.
The frigates and accompanying Longsword fighter squadrons attacked the primary target at the conclusion of the Battle of Tsavo, though the MAC rounds from the frigates and missile bombardment from the fighters failed to make any impression on the Dreadnought. The Portal to the Ark was then activated and the Covenant fleet, including the Dreadnought, departed through it.
Battle of Installation 00Edit
- Main article: Battle of Installation 00
- "I'm giving the Brutes all I've got...but this is a heavy-weight fight! The Dawn's only got the tonnage to last a few rounds."
- — Miranda Keyes on the Ark.
The Flood arrived shortly after the opening of the slipspace portal; the parasite was pursued by a Covenant Separatist fleet led by the CAS-class assault carrier Shadow of Intent. The Flood threat forced the UNSC into an alliance with the Separatists. They hoped to find a solution to the Flood beyond the portal at the Ark.
Once at the Ark, the opposing Covenant fleets engaged one another. However, the UNSC frigate was ill-equipped to fight against such large opponents, and the Forward Unto Dawn deployed troops in five Pelican dropships, including John-117, to secure a landing zone on the surface of the Ark that it desperately needed. Forward Unto Dawn landed near the Cartographer and directly offloaded additional heavy equipment. As the operation to activate the replacement for Installation 04 got underway, Sergeant Major Avery Junior Johnson flew the Forward Unto Dawn to a safe distance from the incomplete ring's Control Room, before disembarking and completing the journey in a Warthog.
Escape from Installation 00Edit
The ship was mostly deserted when John-117 and Thel 'Vadam boarded to escape the ring's impending activation. Thel 'Vadam headed for the bridge while the Spartan uploaded Cortana in the hanger to activate the engines. The ship entered the slipspace portal, but the portal collapsed as the ring's pulse hit and the frigate was cut in half.
The aft section with John-117 and Cortana emerged in parts unknown. The Spartan was left in a drifting wreck without artificial gravity. Cortana dropped a distress beacon and John entered a cryo-chamber to wait for recovery.
Four years, seven months and ten days after being stranded, a Covenant Remnant fleet encounters the remnants of the ship near the Shield World Requiem. The Master Chief is awakened to fight boarding parties throughout the ship. After making his way to the observation deck, the Master Chief travels to the outer hull of the Dawn to launch one of the Dawn's Hyperion nuclear missiles, destroying a threatening CRS-class light cruiser. Almost immediately after destroying the cruiser, Requiem detects the presence of a Reclaimer and pulls in the Covenant fleet and the wreck of the Dawn into the planet's surface.
After the crash of the Dawn the Master Chief still represented himself as 'Master Chief of the UNSC Foward Unto Dawn' to address the UNSC Infinity after Infinity had finally recieved the Dawn's distress call. Infinity was aware that the Master Chief was the only occupant of the vessal.
As the Dawn did not survive the transition through the atmosphere in its current state, the Master Chief tried to make it out in an escape pod, but the escape pods were torn from the ship and the Chief crashes to the planet's inner surface. The Forward Unto Dawn was then ripped to pieces and destroyed, with fragments scattered all over part of Requiem's surface. The Chief, disoriented from the crash, leaves the wreckage of the Dawn to find a ship to get back to Earth. Miraculously a few of the Dawn's Warthogs survived the crash. The remaining wreckage of the Dawn was most likely vaporized with Requiem when the planet was destroyed.
- On the lower part of the bow there is a black 7 inside a yellow star with a yellow chevron under it, this being one of Bungie's 7 references.
- All the frigates in the level The Storm use the same textures as Forward Unto Dawn.
- Forward Unto Dawn has fifty Archer Missile pods: two behind its bay, two in front of its bay, two on both sides of its MAC gun and one on each side of the thrusters. Other source credit frigates with 30 pods.
- Forward Unto Dawn is one of the many main ships, UNSC Pillar of Autumn, UNSC In Amber Clad, and UNSC Spirit of Fire, to be destroyed, or critically damaged, at or near the end of the game.
- In the level The Ark, players may be killed by the flying debris caused by the frigate's approach (Covenant Wraiths or other vehicles).
- Despite being severely damaged and left adrift and exposed to space for four years, much of the Dawn's equipment (such as weapons, sensors, and artificial gravity) is functional when the Master Chief awakes in Halo 4.
- Forward Unto Dawn is the first UNSC Navy ship to be featured on the front cover of a Halo game.
- The design of the Dawn was completely changed between Halo 3 and Halo 4, dramatically increasing the tonnage of the ship to accomodate the first mission in the game.
- Additionally, the weapons and warthogs aboard are all newer models in Halo 4 than Halo 3, though this is most likely because 343 Industries did not feel the need to recreate all of the models, textures, and sounds used in Halo 3, as they are only seen for three missions.
- In the level Requiem, there are seven Warthogs from the Dawn's wreck, four of which are useable.
- The Dawn is the only known Frigate to be a UNSC flagship, normally its supposed to defend Flagships.