Last Thursday (27th) marked the 76thanniversary of the Death of Signalman First Class Douglas Munro. Munro is the Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient.  He received it as a result of his actions at the Battle at Guadalcanal in the Pacific Theater, during World War II.  Unknown to most people, most of the landing craft (and some of the larger vessels) used in WWII were crewed by Coast Guard Personnel.

Munro lead a team of landing craft (called Higgins Boats) that were shuttling Marines to the Island.  The Japanese were well dug in and their numbers were grossly underestimated.  They overwhelmed the Marines in short order.  Munro notice the Marines were trapped between a vastly larger enemy and the ocean.  They had nowhere to go.  Munro rallied the Higgins Boats and mounted a rescue.  Using his own boat, he maneuvered between the enemy and the rescue operation.  Munro was severely wounded yet continued to fight and direct the rescue.  After about 300 Marines were brought to safety, Munro asked if they were safe.  When he was told they were, Munro died of his wounds.  

The Coast Guard honors him by always having a Coast Guard Cutter MUNRO in our fleet.  Marine hopefuls are taught about Munro in basic training.  He is buried in his home town of Cle Elum, WA.  The last time we went to see the family, we stopped at the cemetary, so I could pay my respects to a particular hero of mine.  Every time I think of him, I think of Jesus’ words: John 15:13 (ESV) 
 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.