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Press Release | Sept. 26, 2023

Coast Guard to honor Medal of Honor recipient Douglas Munro

WHO: Members of the 13th Coast Guard District

WHAT: The Coast Guard will host a memorial service in honor of Medal of Honor recipient Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Munro.

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 11 a.m.

WHERE: Laurel Hill Memorial Cemetery, Cle Elum, WA 98922

SEATTLE – Members of the 13th Coast Guard District, along with the Cle Elum community, are scheduled to host the 81st annual memorial service Wednesday, honoring Medal of Honor recipient Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas A. Munro.

The event is scheduled to be held at 11 a.m. at the Laurel Hill Memorial Cemetery, where Munro is laid to rest.

Prior to his service as a Coast Guard signalman, Douglas Munro was raised in Cle Elum. He graduated high school there in 1937 and enlisted while in college. By 1942, Munro was serving on the USS Hunter Liggett, the only Coast Guard vessel that took part in the amphibious assault on Guadalcanal, as coxswain for the landing-crafts delivering U.S. Marines to the battlefield. On September 27, 1942, Munro participated in a rescue mission of nearly 500 Marines from unexpectedly numerous Japanese forces.

During the recovery, Munro positioned his craft between the Marines and enemy fire, acting as a shield, ultimately losing his life. For his actions, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. He remains the sole Coast Guardsman to receive the medal.

Douglas Munro’s heroic sacrifice cemented his title as a Coast Guard hero and has served as a source of inspiration and pride for the line of enlisted Coast Guardsmen who fallow in his footsteps. His memory has persevered, with two major cutters bearing his namesake: USCGC Douglas Munro (WHEC-724), which served for 49 years, and the USCGC Munro (WMSL-755) based out of Alameda, California.

The memorial service will be hosted by the 13th Coast Guard District command master chief, Master Chief Petty Officer Shane Carroll, as the master of ceremonies, featuring commemorative remarks from the District Commander, Rear Adm. Charles Fosse and Douglas Munro’s nephew, Doug Sheehan. Munro will be commemorated with a rifle salute and a wreath laying at his grave site.