In recognition of Doug Munro, the only member of the U.S. Coast Guard to be awarded the Medal of Honor, Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge rededicated the Coast Guard Memorial Fountain on campus at 1 p.m., Sunday, June 10. Signalman First Class Doug Munro was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously for actions taken at Guadalcanal during World War II.”
On hand for the event, which drew about 60 community members despite the rain, were District Commodore Barry Kyper, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and retired Coast Guard Commander Doug Sheehan, the nephew of Doug Munro. Freedoms Foundation President David Harmer welcomed the guests to campus. The rededication included a rifle volley salute provided by an Honor Guard from Washington Crossing National Cemetery in Bucks County, Pa., and the playing of “Taps” by Lou DiLeo.
In his remarks, Doug Sheehan read the Medal of Honor citation for his uncle:
“For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry m action above and beyond the call of duty as Petty Officer in Charge of a group of 24 Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a battalion of marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz Guadalcanal, on 27 September 1942.
“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. 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.
“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. 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.
“He gallantly gave his life for his country.”
The plaque honoring Doug Munro can be found in the Washington State Area of the Medal of Honor Grove on the campus of Freedoms Foundation.
The Grove is a 42-acre living memorial to the more than 3,500 recipients of the nation’s highest award for valor.
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