The Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients

Featuring Marine Medal of Honor Recipients From WWII-Korea-Viet Nam And Iraqi Freedom

United States Marine Corps


Corporal Charles G. Abrell
United States Marine Corps

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, Second Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressors forces in Korea on 10 June 1951.  While advancing with his platoon  in an attack against well-concealed and heavily-fortified enemy hill positions, Corporal Abrell voluntarily rushed forward through  the assaulting squad which was pinned down by a hail of intense and accurate autonatic-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 th entire enemy gun crew within the stronghold, Corporal Abrell, by his valiant spirit of self-sacrifice  in the face of certain death, served to inspore 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 United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Harry S. Truman
President of the United States

Corporal Charles Gene Abrell, 19, of Terre Haute, Indiana, earned the Medal of Honor in Korea for sacrificing his life while leading an assault on enemy positions.

The nation’s highest decoration for valor was awarded posthumously to the youthful Marine for extraordinary heroism on 10 June 1951 at Hangnyong, where he hurled himself into an enemy bunker with a live hand grenade, killing himself and the enemy gun crew in the explosion.

Corporal Abrell was the 14th Marine to receive the Medal of Honor for heroism in Korea. Born 12 August 1931 in Terre Haute, he attended public schools in Las Vegas, Nevada, before enlisting in the Marine Corps 17 August 1948 at the age of 17.

Following recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina, he was assigned to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and also served aboard the USS Noble before going to Korea with the 1st Marine Division.

He was in action at Inchon, Seoul, Wonsan, Chosin Reservoir, and Hanghum before the assault on a hill near Hwachon in which he was killed.

Corporal Abrell also was awarded the Letter of Commendation with Commendation ribbon with Combat “V,” the Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Occupation Service Medal with Europe clasp, Korean Service Medal with three bronze stars, and the United Nations Service Medal.

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