The loud thundering echoes of heavy artillery fire, the acrid smell of smoke in the air, limited visibility, fear so thick one could cut it like a steak dinner overlaid the men that had to fight that fateful day. 1942, invading Japanese forces had overtaken the island of Guadacanal. 500 Marines unloaded and storming the beaches on the Matanikau River of Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands: Located in the northwest part of the island, is the River Matanikau. During the World War II Guadalcanal campaign, several significant engagements occurred between the United States and Japanese forces near the river.
During the fierce ongoing battle, Signalman First Class, Douglas Munro, was waiting away from the beach after dropping off the Marines who had stormed the beach to overtake the Japanese position. After dropping the Marines off, Douglas Munro was waiting on word from command with several other boats to pick up the Marines. Once command informed him about the second incoming attack from a separate group of Japanese soldiers, Signalman First Class Munro, acting heroically, took the boats under his command and positioned them to protect the 500 marines. Therefore, at the cost of his own life saved these fighting warriors from certain death.
Heroism, and bravery from a young man who was 22, willfully gave his life for the 500 Marines. The Bible says, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” John 15:13. Signalman First Class Douglas Munro proved this scripture right, and for his bravery in the line of duty, was awarded the Purple Heart Service Medal. Still, and the only Coast Guard member (1) “who was posthumously decorated with the Medal of Honor for an act of “extraordinary heroism” during World War II. He is the only person to have received the medal for actions performed during service in the Coast Guard”.
SL Coast Guard, Station Munro, was named after the hero Signalman Douglass Munro, bringing honor to the memory of the man who saved the 500 Marines.
The memorial lovingly built and dedicated to SFC Douglas Munro is very beautifully made. It will still stand as a reminder of the brave man from South Cle Elum, Washington, who gave his life so the others could go home to their loved ones.
Thanks can never be enough for the sacrifice made so that others may live. SFC Douglas Munro is an exemplary example of the words stated in the scripture, for no one can give a gift more significant than their life so that others may live.
In memory Always,
PO1 Asa Darkbyrd