The Coast Guard remembers its only Medal of Honor winner in Cle Elum

Photo: KOMO News

CLE ELUM, Wash. -- Seventy-five years after he gave his life for his country, members of the Coast Guard and others gathered to remember Douglas Munro.

Munro, a signalman first class, was killed on Sept. 27, 1942 while leading the rescue of several hundred Marines under attack by Japanese forces on Guadalcanal. He was 22.

The Coast Guard describes his valor this way:

"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."

He is the only member of the Coast Guard to receive the Medal of Honor.

Admiral Paul Zukunft, commandant of the Coast Guard, spoke at the ceremonies Wednesday at Laurel Hill Memorial Park in Cle Elum. The ceremonies included a 21-gun salute by Marines and the Coast Guard Pipe Guard.

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