Laszlo Rabel

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Laszlo Rabel
Head and shoulders of a white man wearing a t-shirt and a military jacket, unbuttoned at the collar, with the word "Rabel" on his right breast and "U.S. Army" on his left. He has on a beret and is holding a rifle over his shoulder by its barrel.
Birth nameLászló Rábel
Born(1937-09-21)September 21, 1937[1]
Budapest, Hungary
DiedNovember 13, 1968(1968-11-13) (aged 31)
Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam
Place of burial
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service1965–1968
RankArmy-USA-OR-06.svg Staff Sergeant
Unit173rd Airborne Brigade
Battles/warsVietnam War 

Laszlo Rabel (born László Rábel;[2] September 21, 1937[1] – November 13, 1968) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.


Rabel fled Hungary following the 1956 revolution, and later immigrated to the United States. He joined the US Army from Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1965,[3] and by November 13, 1968, was serving as a Staff Sergeant in the 74th Infantry Detachment (Long Range Patrol), 173rd Airborne Brigade. On that day, in Binh Dinh Province, South Vietnam, he smothered the blast of an enemy-thrown hand grenade with his body, protecting his fellow soldiers at the expense of his own life.

Rabel, aged 31 at his death, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington County, Virginia.


Medal of Honor citation[edit]

Staff Sergeant Rabel's official Medal of Honor citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Rabel distinguished himself while serving as leader of Team Delta, 74th Infantry Detachment. At 1000 hours on this date, Team Delta was in a defensive perimeter conducting reconnaissance of enemy trail networks when a member of the team detected enemy movement to the front. As S/Sgt. Rabel and a comrade prepared to clear the area, he heard an incoming grenade as it landed in the midst of the team's perimeter. With complete disregard for his life, S/Sgt. Rabel threw himself on the grenade and, covering it with his body, received the complete impact of the immediate explosion. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, S/Sgt. Rabel averted the loss of life and injury to the other members of Team Delta. By his gallantry at the cost of his life in the highest traditions of the military service, S/Sgt. Rabel has reflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Sources vary on Rabel's year of birth. His Medal of Honor citation gives September 21, 1939 ( "Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients (M-Z)". United States Army Center of Military History. August 3, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2010. ), while his government-issued headstone gives September 21, 1937, as does the Social Security Death Index ("Social Security Death Index Interactive Search". Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved December 9, 2010.).
  2. ^ "Társaiért halt meg László a vietnami pokolban" [László died for his comrades in the hell of Vietnam]. Bors (in Hungarian). August 4, 2017.
  3. ^ Service Profile


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.

External links[edit]