Coast Guard to honor service’s only Medal of Honor recipient

Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro

Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro

SEATTLE — Admiral Paul Zukunft, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard, will join approximately 200 local Coast Guard personnel to honor the service’s only Medal of Honor recipient at a ceremony held at Laurel Hill Memorial Park, Cle Elum, at 11 a.m., Wednesday.

This year’s ceremony marks the 75th anniversary of Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro’s ultimate sacrifice.

During World War II, Munro posthumously received the Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as officer-in-charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of nearly 500 Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942.

When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire. His crew, two of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. Munro was 22-years-old at the time of his death.

The Medal of Honor was presented by President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House on May 1943.

After the war’s end Munro’s remains were repatriated and laid to rest in Cle Elum.

In a commissioning ceremony held in Seattle on April 1, the Coast Guard named the sixth National Security Cutter after Munro. Prior to enlisting into the Coast Guard, Munro was a resident of South Cle Elum.

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