September 21, 1937|
|Died||November 13, 1968
Binh Dinh Province, Republic of Vietnam
|Place of burial||Arlington National Cemetery|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Years of service||1965 - 1968|
|Unit||173rd Airborne Brigade|
|Battles/wars||Vietnam War †|
Laszlo Rabel (September 21, 1937 – 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, 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 of the Republic of 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.
Medal of Honor citation
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.
- 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 ("Laszlo Rabel". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved September 22, 2008.) as does the Social Security Death Index ().
- Service Profile
- This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Army Center of Military History.
- "Laszlo Rabel". Claim to Fame: Medal of Honor recipients. Find a Grave. Retrieved 2007-06-22.
- "Vietnam War Medal of Honor recipients". Medal of Honor citations. United States Army Center of Military History. October 3, 2003. Retrieved 2007-06-22.