CAPE MAY – Coast Guardsmen and recruits gathered to remember the sacrifice of the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient aboard Training Center Cape May, Sept. 27.
According to a release, the crew of Training Center Cape May gathered at a statue erected in Douglas Munro’s memory to mark the 77th anniversary of the Coast Guardsman’s death during World War II. Munro was killed at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, attempting to rescue 500 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 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 died a hero and in doing so forever etched himself into Coast Guard history," stated Capt. Kathy Felger, commanding officer of Training Center Cape May. "Not just as our only Medal of Honor recipient, but the personification of our service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty.
"These values are what we strive to instill in our recruits as they pass through these gates," stated Felger. "They are the future of our beloved service and carry Munro’s legacy with them as they leave here and go to the fleet. They have chosen a life dedicated to protecting their nation and helping their fellow man."
Felger 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 77 years ago.
The ceremony concluded with a three-volley-salute and the playing of “Taps.”