Coast Guard Training Center remembers 72nd anniversary of Douglas Munro’s Death

Coast Guard Training Center Cape May News
CAPE MAY, N.J. – Coast Guardsmen and recruits gathered to remember the sacrifice of the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient aboard Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, Saturday, Sept. 27.

The crew of Training Center Cape May gathered at a statue erected in Douglas Munro’s honor to mark the 72nd anniversary of the Coast Guardsman’s death during World War II. Munro was killed at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, attempting to rescue 500 beleaguered Marines who had come under heavy enemy fire Sept. 27, 1942.

Wreaths are laid at the foot of the Douglas Munro statue during a ceremony honoring the 72nd anniversary of his sacrifice, Sept. 27, 2014. Munro is the only member of the Coast Guard to receive a Medal of Honor for his heroic actions at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal where he gave up his life to save 500 Marines who were pinned down by enemy gun fire. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer John Edwards)

Wreaths are laid at the foot of the Douglas Munro statue during a ceremony honoring the 72nd anniversary of his sacrifice, Sept. 27, 2014. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Warrant Officer John Edwards)

Munro led a group of five Higgins boats ashore to evacuate the Marines, and placed his vessel between the enemy and the other rescue boats in order to cover the evacuating troops. Munro’s actions drew enemy fire away from the Marines, but Munro was shot and killed during the rescue attempt.

As Munro lay on the deck of the bullet riddled Higgins boat, he uttered his last words to a wounded shipmate, “did they all get off?”

“Munro exemplifies the core values we instill in our recruits here,” said Capt. Todd Prestidge, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May. “Taking a moment to remember the importance of this day serves to reaffirm our dedication to one another, our commitment to the mission and to recognize our members who regularly place service above self everyday in service to this great nation.”

The ceremony included the observation of morning colors, the laying of three wreaths at the foot of the Douglas Munro statue by a Coast Guard recruit, a member of the Coast Guard Combat Veterans Association and by a member of the Marine Corps League Dramis Detachment, as well as the playing of Taps, a speech by the commanding officer and a benediction offered by the Training Center’s Chaplain.

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