CAPE MAY, N.J. — The Coast Guard Training Center’s battalion of recruits, active duty, Marine Corps League Dramis Detachment members and guests recognized the 73rd anniversary of the death of Signalman 1st Class Douglas Albert Munro – the Coast Guard’s lone Medal of Honor recipient, during a memorial ceremony, Sunday, at the training center in Cape May.
Capt. Todd Prestidge, commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May addressed the crowd, and provided some perspective to recruits currently going through training on where Munro, and those like him, comes from.
“Like you, Douglas Munro’s career started in training,” said Prestidge who went on to say that Munro’s willingness to sacrifice for his country is part of the legacy each recruit carries forward.
Munro 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.
For his heroic and selfless actions in the completion of this rescue mission Munro was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart Medal. His other decorations included the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Area Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.