68th Anniversary of Death of SM1c Douglas Munro

Today, September 27, 2010 marks the 68th anniversary of the death of Signalman First Class Douglas Munro. the only member of the Coast Guard to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Munro died heroically on Guadalcanal September 27, 1942, after succeeding in his assignment, for which he had volunteered, to evacuate a detachment of Marines from a point where enemy opposition developed beyond anticipated dimensions.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Munro was also awarded, posthumously, the Purple Heart Medal, and was eligible for the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.

The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO, SIGNALMAN FIRST CLASS, UNITED STATE COAST GUARD

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Officer in Charge of a group of twenty-four Higgins boats engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly five hundred beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant strafing by enemy machine guns on the island and at great risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore. As he closed the beach, he signaled the others to land and then in order to draw the enemy’s fire and protect the heavily loaded boats, he valiantly placed his craft, with its two small guns, as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, MUNRO was instantly killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. By his outstanding leadership, expert planning and dauntless devotion to duty, he and his courageous comrades undoubtedly saved the lives of many who otherwise would have perished. He gallantly gave up his life in defense of his country.

/s/ FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT

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