- Category : 1926-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX The Vessel of Love 1
United States Marine who, at age 18, captured or persuaded to surrender over 1,300 Japanese soldiers and civilians during the battles for Saipan and Tinian islands in 1944 during World War II. Though Gabaldon was recommended for the Medal of Honor, he received the Silver Star, which was upgraded by the Marine Corps to the Navy Cross in 1960.
In 1960, a friend of Gabaldon's with Hollywood connections influenced the industry to make a movie about Gabaldon's version of events on Saipan called Hell to Eternity. He was called 'Gabby' by his friends, but he became known as "The Pied Piper of Saipan" for his heroism on that island. In 1964, he unsuccessfully ran for US Congressman in his Southern California district. In 1990, he authored a book, Saipan: Suicide Island.
Gabaldon was of Mexican descent, and one of seven children. At age 12, he moved out of his home to live with the Nakano family, which was of Japanese-American heritage and whom he considered his extended family. He attended language school every day with their children and learned to speak Japanese. He also learned about their customs and culture.
On 31 August 2006, Gabaldon died in Old Town, Florida, of heart disease at age 80.