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First Name: Charles

Last Name: Abrell

Birthplace: Terre Haute, IN, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Marines (present)

Middle Name: Gene

Date of Birth: 12 August 1931

Date of Death: 10 June 1951

Rank: Corporal

Years Served: 1948 - 1951
Charles Gene Abrell

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)


Charles Gene Abrell
Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Charles Gene Abrell was born on 12 August 1931 in Terre Haute, IN. The son of a career Navy man, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps just five days after his 17th birthday.

After serving at Camp Lejeune, NC, and as part of the Marine detachment on board the attack transport USS Noble, he was assigned as a Corporal in Company E, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Reinforced) in Korea.

Charles was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery in action at Hangnyong, Korea, on 10 June 1951. His citation reads:

"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader in Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. While advancing with his platoon in an attack against well-concealed and heavily fortified enemy hill positions, Cpl. Abrell voluntarily rushed forward through the assaulting squad which was pinned down by a hail of intense and accurate automatic-weapons fire from a hostile bunker situated on commanding ground. Although previously wounded by enemy hand grenade fragments, he proceeded to carry out a bold, single-handed attack against the bunker, exhorting his comrades to follow him. Sustaining two additional wounds as he stormed toward the emplacement, he resolutely pulled the pin from a grenade clutched in his hand and hurled himself bodily into the bunker with the live missile still in his grasp. Fatally wounded in the resulting explosion which killed the entire enemy gun crew within the stronghold, Cpl. Abrell, by his valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death, served to inspire all his comrades and contributed directly to the success of his platoon in attaining its objective. His superb courage and heroic initiative sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."

Corporal Abrell died two months short of his 20th birthday. His Medal was awarded, posthumously, on 4 September 1952. The presentation was made to his mother at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Navy Dan A. Kimball. To honor Corporal Abrell, on 10 June 2001, fifty years after his death, a statue of him was erected on the grounds of the Vigo County Courthouse in Terre Haute, IN.

Charles Gene Abrell is buried at Westlawn Cemetery in Farmersburg, Sullivan County, IN.

Honoree ID: 1125   Created by: MHOH




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