Medal of Honor Citation

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. 

Korean War Medal of Honor

Marine Corps University