Spc. Leslie Sabo Jr.
USCIS Pittsburgh Field Office
U.S. Army Specialist Leslie Sabo Jr., the recipient of a Medal of Honor for giving his life to protect other soldiers during the Vietnam War, was born February 22, 1948, in Kufstein, Austria. When he was 2, the family immigrated to the United States and settled in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. Sabo left college, and in 1969 the Army drafted him into Bravo Company, 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.
Specialist Sabo deployed to Vietnam only months after marrying his wife, Rose Mary. Specialist Sabo was mortally wounded May 10, 1970, during an ambush near the Se San River. He was recommended for a Medal of Honor shortly after his death, but his paperwork was lost. Finally, on May 16, 2012 – 42 years and six days after the ambush – Rose Mary accepted her late husband’s Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama during a ceremony at the White House.
The citation reads:
Without hesitation, Specialist Four Sabo charged an enemy position, killing several enemy soldiers. Immediately thereafter, he assaulted an enemy flanking force, successfully drawing their fire away from friendly soldiers and ultimately forcing the enemy to retreat. In order to re-supply ammunition, he sprinted across an open field to a wounded comrade.
As he began to reload, an enemy grenade landed nearby. Specialist Four Sabo picked it up, threw it, and shielded his comrade with his own body, thus absorbing the brunt of the blast and saving his comrade’s life. Seriously wounded by the blast, Specialist Four Sabo nonetheless … single-handedly charged an enemy bunker that had inflicted severe damage on the platoon, receiving several serious wounds from automatic weapons fire in the process.
… [H]e crawled towards the enemy emplacement and, when in position, threw a grenade into the bunker. The resulting explosion silenced the enemy fire, but also ended Specialist Four Sabo’s life. His indomitable courage and complete disregard for his own safety saved the lives of many of his platoon members. Specialist Four Sabo’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his life, are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company B, 3d Battalion, 506th Infantry, 101st Airborne Division, and the United States Army.