Coast Guard marks anniversary of Douglas Munro’s heroic actions

SEATTLE — The Coast Guard Enlisted Association Emerald City branch held a memorial service for the only Coast Guard Medal of Honor recipient in Cle Elum, Wash., Friday.

Members of Coast Guard Station Seattle, Aids to Navigation Team Puget Sound, Integrated Support Command Seattle, and the 13th Coast Guard District staff along with the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 1373, Cle Elum, gathered at the grave site of Signalmen 1st Class Douglas Munro today to mark the 67th anniversary of Munro’s ultimate sacrifice.

Munro received the award posthumously for his actions as officer-in-charge of a group of landing craft on September 27, 1942, during the Guadalcanal campaign in World War II.

The citation for the Medal of Honor, presented to Munro’s parents, reads as follows:

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 Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant 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 complete, Munro was 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.

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