Douglas A. Murno, American Legion Post 356 - Lynn Haven, Florida
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The Story of Douglas A. Munro

During World War II, the six months of bloody fighting at Guadalcanal cost more than 6,000 Americans their lives. One of them was Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, the Coast Guards only Congressional Medal of Honor winner.

On August 7, 1942, in order to counter Japanese advances in the Solomon Islands, the Marines landed at Guadalcanal. Toward the end of September in an attempt to secure more of the island, the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines was sent on a patrol toward enemy positions. Approximately 200 Marines were landed west of the Matanikau River to establish a patrol base. On September 27, they were isolated from the rest of their battalion and pinned down on the beach by an overwhelming Japanese force.

About one dozen landing craft were sent to rescue the surrounded Marines. Munro served as a coxswain and machine gunner of one of the thirty-six foot Higgins’ boats. As the craft headed inshore the Japanese attempted to foil the rescue by firing on the exposed boats. Japanese gunfire hit some and caused casualties. The lightly armed Higgins’ boats kept going and reached the shore in waves. Directed by Munro, the boats came to the beach two or three at a time while Munro and Petty Officer Raymond Evans fired at the enemy. All of the Marines including 23 wounded were evacuated. Only minutes after placing the last man on board, Munro was killed while providing covering fire from his exposed position.

Due to Munro’s bravery the U.S. Navy later named on of it new destroyer escorts after the Coast Guard’s only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, and more recently, a Coast Guard high endurance cutter was named for Munro.

The Coast Guard performed a wide variety of duties during the war, one of the more important tasks was manning amphibious craft for the U.S. Navy.

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Douglas A. Munro , American Legion Auxiliary Unit 356
400 Aberdeen Pkwy, Panama City, FL 32405
(850) 271-3558