Coast Guard Training Center Honors Douglas Munro on Anniversary of His Death

united states coast guard

Coast Guard Training Center Remembers Anniversary of Douglas Munro's Death

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

The crew of Training Center Cape May gathered at a statue erected in Douglas Munro’s honor to mark the 76th 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.

Munro led a group of five Higgins boats ashore to evacuate the Marines, which also came under heavy enemy fire. Munro used his Higgins boat as a shield by placing his boat between the enemy and the other rescue boats, which were heavily loaded with Marines. Munro’s actions drew enemy fire away from the Marines, but Munro was shot and killed during the rescue attempt.

Munro uttered his last words to a wounded shipmate aboard the bullet riddled Higgins boat, “did they all get off?”

"Munro exemplifies the core values we instill in our recruits here,” said Capt. Owen Gibbons, 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."

Gibbons called the crew to attention and read Munro’s Medal of Honor citation. A wreath was placed at the foot of the Munro Statue in remembrance of his sacrifice 76 years ago. The ceremony concluded with a 3-volley-salute and the playing of “Taps.”