Charles Gene Abrell (Aug. 31, 1931 - June 10, 1951) was a corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps who served with Company E, 2nd Battalion 1st Marines, 1st Division during the Korean War. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions and sacrifice of life on June 10, 1951, near Hangnyong, Korea, while advancing his platoon against enemy fire. He hurled himself into an enemy bunker with a live grenade, killing the enemy gun crew and himself in the explosion.
Charles Abrell was born in Terre Haute, Ind., in 1931. He attended school in Las Vegas, Nev., and then enlisted in the Marine Corps on Aug. 17, 1948, at age 17. Following recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., he was assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., and also served aboard the USS Noble before going to Korea with the 1st Marine Division.He was in combat at Inchon, Seoul, Wonsan, Chosin Reservoir and Hanghum before the fatal assault on a hill near Hwachon for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Charles Abrell is buried in the West Lawn Cemetery in Farmersburg, Indiana.
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 aggressor 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 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, Corporal 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 United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
President Harry S. Truman