Cpl. Tibor Rubin
8th Cavalry Regiment
1st Cavalry Division, Korea.
8th Cav Was retreating to the Pusan perimeter when Corporal Tibor Rubin was ordered to hold his position and keep access to the Taegu-Pusan road open.
Rubin was binging up the rear and had responsibility for his entire regiment’s Six.
Overwhelming waves of North Korean soldiers assaulted the hill, yet he repelled them dispatching a staggering number to their maker.
Rubin held his position – ALONE for in excess of 24 hours. He was assumed to be KIA.
Rubin’s commanding officer admitted, after the war, that they never expected Rubin to survive. They just hoped he could slow the Reds down a little. When he turned up alive and rejoined the unit his CO made the decision to recommend Rubin for the Medal.
Before the recommendation could be written up and submitted – On October 30, 1950, Chinese forces attacked what was left of the 1st Cav. in a massive nighttime assault.
Rubin manned a .30-caliber machine gun at the south perimeter. The entire gun crew was wounded or dead. Rubin saw the unmanned weapon and took up a firing position. Rubin was able to continue to fight and manned his weapon until his ammunition was exhausted, then he fixed bayonet and Corporal Tibor Rubin stood his ground.
The majority of I Company was able to extract under the protection of Rubin’s covering fire before Corporal Rubin was severely wounded and captured by the Chinese. The Communist, realizing he was a Hungarian citizen and one bad SOB, offered to repatriate Rubin to Budapest as a show of solidarity to the MKP (Magyar Kommunista Párt). Rubin refused the special treatment and was put with the other POWs.
As if covering his unit’s retreat alone – TWICE, effectively saving hundreds of American lives –TWICE, was not enough. A wounded Corporal Tibor Rubin immediately began sneaking out of the camp at night in search of food for his comrades.
You see this wasn’t Rubin’s first rodeo; the rest of his unit was unaware that as a boy in Hungary Tibor Rubin had been sent to KZ-Mauthausen in Austria. He survived 14 months in the concentration before being liberated by US soldiers in 1945.
He already knew what it was going to take to survive being a prisoner and Tibor Rubin was intent on saving as many of his comrades as possible. Each night Rubin would sneak out of the barracks breaking into enemy food storehouses and gardens. Rubin knew he risked certain torture or death if caught.
Rubin not only scrounged food for the starving POWs, he knew that without medical care the sick and wounded would never survive. In this third act of extreme valor, Rubin’s selfless efforts were directly attributed to saving as many as forty of his fellow prisoners.
The last line of Cpl. Rubin’s MOH citation reads:
“Corporal Rubin’s gallant actions in close contact with the enemy and unyielding courage and bravery while a prisoner of war are in the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Army.”
Corporal Tibor Rubin had Watermelons.