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On Mother’s Day, May 10, 1970, two platoons (about 50 men) of the 101st Airborne were on a mission near Se San, Cambodia, when they were ambushed by a force of about 150 North Vietnamese troops. The Americans hunkered down and an intense battle ensued. Sabo repeatedly risked his own life by providing covering fire, distributing ammunition to his fellow soldiers, shielding a wounded soldier from a grenade blast, and assisting medevac helicopters extricate the wounded. Later that day Sabo, by this time wounded several times, crawled forward and tossed a grenade at an enemy machine gun emplacement. He died of his wounds soon after. Eight Americans lost their lives, but if not for Sabo’s actions it would have been a complete disaster. Forty-nine Vietnamese soldiers were also killed during the fierce engagement. (c1970) Full Size
Sabo is buried next to his parents in Holy Redeemer Cemetery near Ellwood City. (Sep 2013)