He was reburied with honors in 1948 at the Laurel Hill Memorial Park in Cle Elum, Washington. Serving aboard a high endurance Coast Guard cutter is quite an experience. Munro, the first and only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the Medal of Honor, had been aboard the the seaplane tender Ballard. When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was instantly killed by enemy fire, but his crew, 2 of whom were wounded, carried on until the last boat had loaded and cleared the beach. Kali Martin earned a bachelor's degree in International Studies and German at the University of Miami and a master's degree in Military a... Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro,…, Institute for the Study of War and Democracy, Coming To America: The War Brides Act of 1945, “America Remembers Wake Island and Is Proud”: The Battle That Lifted a Nation’s Morale in 1941, The Path Through the Soviet Union and China to Pearl Harbor, Curator's Choice: The Book of the Dead and Dying. Munro, Evans, and the other 18 recruits sworn in that day were sent to Air Station Port Angeles, where the staff there were clueless as to what was to be done with them. He and a friend gathered wood in the forests, split it, and delivered it to families who couldn’t afford coal to warm their homes in the cold winter months. Their actual training was to be at sea, aboard Spencer as the ship made its way from Washington, to Staten Island, New York, to participate in Neutrality Patrols in the Atlantic. He failed to return to the ship. Living in a makeshift shack on the island, Munro and Evans moved supplies, rescued downed airmen, and ferried casualties to ships. Only one has ever been awarded to a US Coast Guardsman. As the last Marines loaded into landing craft, Munro turned his boat to lead the group back to Lunga Point. The tenth of twelve 378-foot cutters, MUNRO was the first to be named after a Coast Guard hero - Signalman First Class Douglas Munro. From McCawley, Munro landed Marines in the third wave to land on Tulagi. Evans recalled that when their commanding officer asked if they were ready to go back and get the Marines off the beach, Munro replied, “Hell, yeah!” With Munro leading the way, the boat crews sped back to the beach to extract the overwhelmed Marines. To date, 3,525 have been awarded since the inception of the Medal during the US Civil War. While patrolling in the vicinity of the Hawaiian Islands, the Douglas Munro crew rendezvoused with Coast Guard Cutter Munro (WMSL 755). In August, Munro applied for enlistment with the Coast Guard, and on September 18, Munro officially enlisted as an apprentice seaman. Kelch was found dead Jan. 27 along the shore of an island when their ship, the cutter Douglas Munro, was docked in nearby Dutch Harbor. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro returns home from 2 month patrol, on Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro returns home from 2 month patrol, Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission, Coast Guard rescue 2 on disabled sailboat in severe weather near Fort Myers, Coast Guard locates child, grandparents in Willamette National Forest, OR, Coast Guard Cutter Active offloads $159 million of cocaine. When the United States entered the war in December 1941, both men knew it was only a matter of time before they would get in the action. Douglas Munro was born to James and Edith in October 1919, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Image courtesy of the US Coast Guard. In May 1943, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt presented the Medal of Honor to Munro’s parents, James and Edith. Though they were aboard separate ships, both were headed for the Pacific. To better enable both aerial reconnaissance and search and rescue missions, the Munro crew embarked an aviation detachment and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, California. The two worked together in every spare hour to earn their new rating. After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered marines, Munro, under constant strafing by enemy machineguns on the island, and at great risk of his life, daringly led 5 of his small craft toward the shore. The Higgins boats beached, deposited the men, and returned to Lunga Point. 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 2 small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese. Elements of Lieutenant Colonel Lewis “Chesty” Puller’s 1st Battalion, 7th Marines moved out on September 23 for an exploratory mission, but quickly ran into trouble. Munro volunteered for the job and brought the boats to shore under heavy enemy fire, then proceeded to evacuate the men on the beach. KODIAK, Alaska — The crew aboard Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro (WHEC 724) returned to homeport following a two-month-long Operation North Pacific Guard (NPG) patrol, focused on enforcing international fishery regulations, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The United States Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro, WHEC-724, celebrated its hull day at sea with a display aboard the vessel on July 24. The Munro is one of the four national security cutters homeported in Alameda, Calif., and is bearing the same namesake of Douglas Munro, the Coast Guard’s only World War II Medal of Honor recipient. For extraordinary heroism and acts above and beyond the call of duty during World War II, the United States Congress awarded 473 Medals of Honor. Commissioned in 2017, the Munro is the sixth 418-foot, Legend-class national security cutter in the Coast Guard. Munro received the decoration posthumously for his actions as officer-in-charge of a group of landing craft on September 27, 1942, … NPG is an annual high seas U.S. fisheries international law enforcement operation designed to detect and deter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing activity, including large-scale high seas pelagic drift-net fishing. First was a destroyer escort launched on March 8, 1944, with Lieutenant Junior Grade Edith F. Munro christening it. A small notebook by Charles Don Page records the defining moment in 212 men’s lives under the Imperial Japanese Army. Commissioned in 1971, Douglas Munro is the Coast Guard’s only remaining 378-foot High Endurance Cutter from a fleet that was once twelve strong. At her own insistence, she went through boot camp as any recruit would do, requesting no special treatment. The cutter’s hull day, July 24, correlates with its hull number, 724. He gallantly gave his life for his country.”. The valiant defense of Wake Island by US Marines, sailors, soldiers, and civilians became a potent rallying point for Americans in the dark days after Pearl Harbor. The white shield on his sleeve identifies him as Coast Guard. The next day he evacuated casualties, returning them to McCawley. Reporting back to the transport ship he learned he was being transferred yet again. Over the next year, Munro and Evans, always together, moved between transport ships with Transport Division 17. The Douglas A. Munro Award for inspirational leadership is awarded to the Coast Guard enlisted member who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and professional competence to the extent of their rank and rate. During this time, to ensure compliance with Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission and North Pacific Fisheries Commission regulations, the Munro crew conducted inspections aboard 11 fishing vessels of various nationalities. As of 2018, USCGC Munro (WMSL-755) is in active Coast Guard service. Their mission that morning was to … Only once were they not stationed together, and even then, only briefly did they serve apart. It was commissioned in 2017 with Julie Sheehan—Munro's great-niece—serving as the ship's sponsor. Coast Guard cutters, including the Douglas Munro (WHEC 724), sitting moored in Kodiak, Alaska, this past May. Free resources for your classroom to commemorate the December 7,1941 attack. Munro asked Evans, “Did they get off?” Evans replied the Marines had, and Munro died. She earned a commission in the SPARS (women’s branch of the Coast Guard), ran the Coast Guard Barracks in Seattle, and was discharged in late 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant. U.S. Coast Guard photo. However, for these “War Brides” restrictive American immigrations policies posed a major challenge. Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro wouldn’t see the 28th. After the war, Munro’s remains were brought back to the United States. Secretary Volpe was once again on hand, retelling the story of Douglas Munro and reminding the crew of the honor they had to bear the name of that hero. Positioning his landing craft parallel to the shore so Evans could provide covering fire for the Marines, Munro held station as the beleaguered men swam out to the landing craft. Evans noticed a trail of waterspouts nearby as Japanese bullets got nearer to the boats. The dedication of the ship took place on April 15, 1972, at Munro's first homeport of Boston, Massachusetts. Douglas A. Munro both followed and set an example. Although it may be a gloomy day today, sunny days like the one pictured in July of 2018 will returned to Kodiak. The stay in Boston was not to last long, howev… When most of them were in the boats, complications arose in evacuating the last men, whom Munro realized would be in the greatest danger. In July 1942, Munro was transferred to USS McCawley (APA-10). Coast Guard training in the latter part of 1939 was virtually nonexistent. Evans was transferred as well, and the two enthusiastically took an opportunity to train as coxswains for landing craft. Helping others became a passion for Munro and set him on a path towards the United States Coast Guard. Throughout their patrol, the crew maintained strict health precautionary measures and minimized interactions with others to ensure sustained mission readiness. The tenth of twelve 378-foot cutters, MUNRO was the first to be named after a Coast Guard hero - Signalman First Class Douglas Munro. Riley Gatewood, commanding officer, Douglas Munro. At Central Washington College of Education, Munro was an excellent student, but yearned for something more exciting. Munro and Evans became inseparable when they enlisted on the same date, earning the nickname “The Gold Dust Twins.” This is Evans at his enlistment, age 18. Photo by ENS Jake Marx. In June, President Roosevelt directed the Coast Guard to man four large transports and serve in mixed crews on board twenty-two naval ships. For recent photographs follow us on Flickr. Munro, climbing the superstructure of Spencer. The Munro family was more fortunate than most during the Great Depression as James never lost his job, and the family was able to enjoy a comfortable life. They formed an immediate friendship and became inseparable. Incredibly, the Coast Guard fully manned more than 350 naval ships, including 76 LSTs (Landing Ship, Tank), 21 cargo and attack-cargo ships, 75 frigates, and 31 transports. She had persisted when the Coast Guard was reluctant to allow her to join—she was 48, and a Gold Star Mother of a Medal of Honor recipient. On the island, Japanese forces had withdrawn to the western side of the river, necessitating the insertion of Marine forces in an attempt to dominate the area and prevent Japanese forces from establishing themselves close to American lines. In June 1941, Munro got orders to report aboard a transport ship, USS Hunter Liggett (AP-27). This resulted in the order for three  companies of 1st Battalion, 7th Marines to land via landing craft on a beach west of Point Cruz to enter the attack from the rear. Then, on September 21, the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) arrived and Munro and Evans were selected to be crew. Three United States warships have been named after Munro: the destroyer escort USS Douglas A. Munro (DE-422), and the cutters USCGC Douglas Munro (WHEC-724) and USCGC Munro (WMSL-755). After several minutes, and still under fire, the landing craft was free, and Munro pulled behind it. His first role model was his mother, Edith, and he would eventually be hers. This topic covers the stories of WWII Medal of Honor recipients. Crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro conducted a boarding in the Pacific Ocean, July 24, 2020. Image courtesy of the US Coast Guard. While operating out of Boston, the ship's original missions included ocean station patrol and search and rescue. He stayed in the Coast Guard, eventually receiving a commission, and retiring as a Commander. Their outstanding results, positive attitude and exceptional work ethic set the standard for future U.S. Coast Guard engagements.”. Douglas Munro’s crew began their patrol just south of the Aleutian Islands and spent 59 days enforcing fisheries regulations while traveling 12,500 miles throughout the Pacific Ocean. From his Official Military Personnel File, National Archives, St. Louis. On December 7, 1941, USS California’s crew fought bravely to save her. Top image from Douglas Munro's personnel file courtesy of the US National Archives. So on the afternoon of September 27, 1942, when a fatally-wounded Navy Coxswain named Samuel B. Roberts slammed his shot-to-shit Higgins Boat landing craft into the beach at Lunga Point Base at 20 miles an hour, it didn’t take long for Coast Guard Signalman First Class Douglas Munro to grab his … At 12:30 p.m., the boats were away, headed towards the shore. One coxswain yelled to Munro to fall back, that rescue wasn’t possible, but Munro refused to leave the Marines. Photo Credit: Chief Warrant Officer John Edwa/Coast Guard The Munro is the second cutter and third ship to be named in honor of Douglas Munro. For more breaking news follow us on Twitter and Facebook. The ship's original compliment included 17 officers and 143 enlisted men, under the ship's first Commanding Officer, Captain John T. Rouse. High Endurance Cutters have a crew of 160 and have long served as the capital ships of the Coast Guard cutter fleet. When word arrived that these ships needed signalmen, Munro, after much pleading with Spencer’s executive officer, was given permission to transfer to the Hunter Liggett … Our Nation’s highest military award for valor is given for action above and beyond the call of duty. Two ships were named in Douglas Munro's honor. Image courtesy of the US Coast Guard. On August 7, 1942, American forces landed on Guadalcanal, Tulagi, and the Florida Islands in the Solomon Islands. Then, on September 21, the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) arrived and Munro and Evans were selected to be crew. 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. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Even after nearly 49 years of service, Douglas Munro remains versatile and can operate globally in the most demanding open ocean environments, from the North Pacific’s hazardous fishing grounds to the wind swept isles of the Aleutians. On September 27, a message from the group was either misinterpreted or ambiguous, leading division headquarters to believe they had crossed the river and were fighting there. Historian Richard Frank explores the influence of China and the Soviet Union in the Japanese decision to attack American territories in December 1941. The Coast Guard's participation in amphibious activity during World War II was perhaps the most important war-related job the service performed. The boat crews were still refueling the landing craft when word came down that the Marines they had just landed needed to be pulled out immediately. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jacob Marx, File) Munro spent the night on the island with Marines, continuing to send messages via blinker light overnight. Named after the only Coast Guard Medal of Honor recipient, Signalman First Class Douglas Munro, the cutter enjoys a reputation for excellence which has resulted from the pride and hard work of the crew you are about to join. In the opening strokes of the Battle of the Bulge, platoon leader Vernon McGarity distinguished himself in combat, inspired his men, and saved lives while delaying the onslaught of German forces. The missions can be very … Munro was put in charge of the Higgins boats assigned to land the Marines. Photo courtesy of ENS Jake Marx. From Munro’s Official Military Personnel File, National Archives, St. Louis. A few short hours later, Edith raised her hand, swore an oath, and joined the Coast Guard. info@nationalww2museum.org Douglas Munro - High School graduation Since there was no training station in the Coast Guard in 1939, Ray was put in charge of a group of about 12 enlistees, including Munro, and placed on a bus to the Coast Guard Air Station at Port Angeles. Douglas Munro was commissioned on September 27, 1971, at Avondale Shipyard in New … All rights reserved. For their heroic actions, four of her crew were awarded the Medal of Honor. For three days they peeled potatoes, mowed grass, and helped with boat maintenance. This map shows the area where Puller’s men were operating. Anchored just off Guadalcanal, the ship received word that 500 men from the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, had met fierce resistance from the Japanese and were pinned down on … The United States Coast Guard Cutter MUNRO was commissioned on September 27, 1971, at Avondale Shipyard in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lieutenant Edith Munro, US Coast Guard. 6.7K likes. His father was an American who had lived there since his childhood, and his mother had emigrated from England with her family at the age of 15. A copy of the telegram sent to Munro’s mother, Edith on October 21, 1942, informing her of the death of her son. Despite not having small boat experience, they were able to train over the summer, and Evans recalled that Munro “just had that instinct.” The two friends passed small boat training and were assigned to Transport Division 17. The ship began a 5,400-mile voyage to the East Coast and Munro and Ray were made quartermasters. Arriving at the rendezvous spot, the boats quickly came under withering fire from the beach. In order to qualify for the rating, Munro had to learn to send and receive Morse code via telegraph and blinker light, learn how to send and receive messages via signal flags, and how to encode and decode messages. For his actions on September 17, Evans was awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to Chief Signalman. Munro, the first and only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to receive the Medal of Honor, had been aboard the the seaplane tender Ballard.. Anchored just off Guadalcanal, the ship received word that 500 men from the 1st Battalion, 7th … 945 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130 Noticing a landing craft stuck on the reef, Munro pulled alongside it, where Marines tied a tow rope to it. Douglas Munro has earned the title of the America’s Bering Sea Cutter, for her extensive resume of arduous patrols in perilous Aleutian waters. Douglas Munro has earned the title of the … Aware of his family’s good fortune, Munro was moved to help those in need. Arriving there as raw boots they were put to mowing lawns, cleaning up and … USCGC Munro (WMSL-755) is the sixth Legend-class cutter of the United States Coast Guard. USCGC Douglas Munro (WHEC-724) is a Hamilton-class High Endurance Cutter of the United States Coast Guard, named for Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro (1919–1942), the only Coast Guardsman to be awarded the Medal of Honor. More than 60,000 women wed by American servicemen during World War II hoped to leave their old homes behind and rejoin their husbands for a new life in the United States. This is the official Coast Guard painting of Munro’s last moments while evacuating Marines at Guadalcanal. The ship's original compliment included 17 officers and 143 enlisted men, under the ship's … Munro at the time of his enlistment at the age of 19. Their actual training was to be at sea, aboard Spencer as the ship made its way from Washington, to Staten Island, New York, to participate in Neutrality Patrols in the Atlantic. This site is owned and operated by Bright Mountain Media, Inc., a publicly owned company trading with the symbol: BMTM. He’d be reuniting with Evans, joining a boat pool on “Cactus,” the code word for Guadalcanal. U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Douglas Munro. In September 1940, while Spencer was participating in the Atlantic Weather Observation Service, later the Ocean Station program, Munro advanced to Signalman Third Class. 504-528-1944. It was 27 Sept., 1942. “It was like watching a home-run derby; the crew absolutely crushed each ball into the bleacher seats. “This has been an extremely exciting and rewarding patrol,” said U.S. Coast Guard Capt. By the winter of 1945, millions of American military personnel were on the move, but they were not alone. Signalman First Class Douglas Albert Munro was 22. He yelled to Munro to get down, but it was too late. A thousand yards out, Munro noticed a reef, and led the small fleet of landing craft around it, putting the Marines ashore about 100 yards off their target. 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