Cpl. Charles Abrell, Medal of Honor

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Charles Gene Abrell

Birthdate: (19)
Birthplace: Abrell family home, 37 Ashland Avenue, Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, United States
Death: June 10, 1951 (19)
Hangnyong, Korea (died in combat during Korean War)
Place of Burial: Farmersburg, Sullivan County, Indiana, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles E. Abrell and Bernice Olive Abrell

Occupation: United States Marine
Managed by: Eldon Clark (Geni volunteer cura...
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Immediate Family

About Cpl. Charles Abrell, Medal of Honor

Korean War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient

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Birth: Aug. 12, 1931 Terre Haute Vigo County Indiana, USA

Death: Jun. 10, 1951

Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, the son of a career Navy man, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps just five days after his 17th birthday. After serving at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina 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. He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery at Hangnyong, Korea, on June 10, 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 was two months short of his 20th birthday. His Medal was awarded to him posthumously September 4, 1952, and was presented to his mother at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Navy Dan A. Kimball. Fifty years after his death, on June 10, 2001, a statue of Corporal Abrell was erected to honor him on the grounds of the Vigo County Courthouse, Terre Haute, Indiana. (bio by: Russ Dodge) 

Burial: Westlawn Cemetery Farmersburg Sullivan County Indiana, USA


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Cpl. Charles Abrell, Medal of Honor's Timeline

August 12, 1931
Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, United States
June 10, 1951
Age 19
Hangnyong, Korea
Farmersburg, Sullivan County, Indiana, United States