In the long history of the United States Coast Guard, only one Coastguardsman has been awarded the Medal of Honor. That Coastie was Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro. His story is briefly covered in the first video of this article.
On September 22, 1942, during the Battle of Guadalcanal, he led a small Coast Guard unit of landing craft to help rescue elements of the 7th Marines who had been ambushed and trapped by a larger force of Japanese. They needed to get out of that situation, and Petty Officer Munro and other Coast Guard landing craft came to help get them off the beach. Munro’s actions that day, manning a machine gun mounted on his landing craft, helped to pin down the enemy long enough to get those Marines out of that perilous position.
Munro kept placing himself and his craft between the enemy and the Marines, keeping up a fierce and intense covering fire with his machine gun, always directing his fire where the most intense enemy fire was coming from. He was eventually hit by enemy fire and mortally wounded. For his actions, in placing himself in the line of fire over and over again while keeping up his own intense fire support on behalf of those Marines during those intense moments, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
The second video was done relatively recently aboard the Coast Guard Cutter named in honor of Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas A. Munro, the USCGC Douglas Munro. A small bust of Petty Officer Munro, which occupies a special place of honor on the ship, was recently draped with a replica of the Medal of Honor during ceremonies aboard the cutter. We can be sure that the officers and crew of the USCGC Munro are duly proud of serving aboard this ship named for this Medal of Honor recipient.
Crewmembers aboard the USCGC Munro, like those who serve on other Navy or Coast Guard ships and vessels named in honor of men like Petty Officer Munro, take a certain pride in serving on those ships that carry the history and the name of such examples of courage, honor, and commitment as was shown by Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro at Guadalcanal during those difficult times in WWII.
The Veterans Site thanks and salutes all who have served and those who are currently serving in the United States Coast Guard. We honor the memory of Signalman 1st Class Douglas A. Munro, and we wish all those currently serving on the USCGC Munro and those who will serve on her in the future Fair Winds and Following Seas, in all that they do in safeguarding our country. Semper Paratus!Whizzco