Coast Guard Cutter Munro to receive Medal of Honor to honor namesake

KODIAK, Alaska – Members of the Coast Guard, TriWest Healthcare Alliance and the Congressional Medal of Honor Society will pay tribute to the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient, the late Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, during a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 5 aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Munro at the Coast Guard base in Kodiak.

A statue of Munro, provided by TriWest Healthcare Alliance, will be unveiled and a replica of Munro’s Medal of Honor will be presented by Medal of Honor recipient retired Army Maj. Drew Dennis Dix of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

“We are excited that the Coast Guard members serving aboard the Munro will have the opportunity to feel the significance of the sacrifices made by all Medal of Honor recipients, especially Douglas Munro, and that we never know when we will be called to perform like he did that day in World War II,” said Dix. “We have invited Master Sgt. Richard Pittman, a Marine, to the ceremony. He served in Vietnam. It is significant because Munro earned the Medal of Honor helping Marines at Guadalcanal.”

Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro Medal of Honor

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The medal, the highest military decoration awarded by the U.S. government, is a duplicate of the original awarded posthumously to Munro after his death in 1942.

“Douglas Munro’s heroic actions helped save the lives of 500 Marines during World War II at Guadalcanal,” said Rear Adm. Christopher Colvin, commander of the 17th Coast Guard District, “This is an important ceremony in memory of the Coast Guard’s lone Medal of Honor recipient and a reminder that the Coast Guard has played an important defense role for the Nation beginning with the War of 1812 and continuing through Iraq and Afghanistan today.”

The Munro, a 378-foot high-endurance cutter commissioned in 1971, is homeported in Kodiak and the only high endurance cutter in Alaska. Munro’s 167-person crew spent 185 days at sea during 2010 in support of missions including search and rescue, fisheries and law enforcement. Cutter Munro’s motto is Honoring the Past by Serving the Present.

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