This Day in Coast Guard History – September 27

Monday, September 27, 2010

1942- Douglas A. Munro, Signalman 1/c, USCG, gave his life evacuating Marines of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, at Matanikau Point, Guadalcanal.  President Roosevelt posthumously awarded Munro the Medal of Honor, the only Coast Guardsmen to be awarded this decoration.  The medal was given to Douglas Munro's parents, Mr. and Mrs. James Munro of South Cle Elum, Washington, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a ceremony at the White House on Thursday, 27 May 1943.  The citation read: "Awarded posthumously to DOUGLAS ALBERT MUNRO, SIGNALMAN FIRST CLASS, U.S. COAST GUARD For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty as Office-in-Charge of a group of Higgins boats, engaged in the evacuation of a Battalion of Marines trapped by enemy Japanese forces at Point Cruz, Guadalcanal, on September 27, 1942.  After making preliminary plans for the evacuation of nearly 500 beleaguered Marines, Munro, under constant risk of his life, daringly led five of his small craft toward the shore.   As he closed the beach, he signalled [sic] 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 two small guns as a shield between the beachhead and the Japanese.   When the perilous task of evacuation was nearly completed, Munro was killed by enemy fire, but his crew, two 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 up his life in defense of his country.”

1950- For the purpose of alleviating attrition during the Korean War, Executive Order 10164 authorized the Coast Guard, in cases where enlisted personnel did not immediately reenlist in the Coast Guard, to extend enlistments for one year, if the date of expiration of enlistment occurred prior to 9 July 1951. The Coast Guard, however, adopted a policy of permitting the discharge of men upon expiration of enlistment, provided they immediately enlisted in the Coast Guard Reserve.

(Source: USCG Historian’s Office)

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