Today we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Guadalcanal and the heroic efforts of Signalman First Class Douglas Munro.
Tag: douglas munro
Called “The Canal” by the men who fought there, Guadalcanal was the first Allied amphibious operation of the Pacific War and a laboratory for analyzing the latest amphibious tactics and landing craft designs. It was also the campaign where the Coast Guard forged a relationship with the Marine Corps that grew stronger over the course of the war and continues to this day. The two services fought side-by-side to defeat the enemy and a Coast Guard coxswain or beachmaster was often the last comrade a marine might see before hitting the beaches or marching into the jungle.
The Guadalcanal campaign began on Thursday, August 7, 1942, exactly eight months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. With its lush jungle cover and tropical waters, Guadalcanal was a picturesque contrast of deep green and azure blue. But for all its natural beauty, Guadalcanal was also a fearful place to fight a war. This is Part Two of the story of Coast Guardsmen fighting in the battle of Guadalcanal during WWII.
The Guadalcanal campaign began on Thursday, August 7, 1942, exactly eight months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. With its lush jungle cover and tropical waters, Guadalcanal was a picturesque contrast of deep green and azure blue. But for all its natural beauty, Guadalcanal was also a fearful place to fight a war. This is Part One of the story of Coast Guardsmen fighting in the battle of Guadalcanal during WWII.
“Upon regaining consciousness his only question was ‘Did they get off?’, and so died with a smile on his face and the full knowledge that he had successfully accomplished a dangerous mission.” Read more about Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro’s heroism during the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Military leadership is often perceived as those who hold a high rank, part of a command staff, who foster the development of their junior members to one day become leaders themselves. But as with Coast Guardsmen like Petty Officer 2nd Class Noel Cordero, a junior member aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Alex Haley, a good leader can come from any rank.
Douglas Munro is more than a service-wide exam study topic. You see, my dad was a Coast Guard chief back in the 70’s. Back then, with people serving only a few decades after the end of World War II, they were much more connected to that part of our history. But, it seems that that’s something we have largely let go of. Granted, there are some history buffs out there and many leaders who pass along that desire to preserve our heritage. So, that’s my call to action to leaders at all levels: if you aren’t doing so already, talk to your crew, your office or your unit about our service’s heroes. Whether you graduated from boot camp or from the Academy, you learned Munro’s story. I challenge you to build upon that foundation of knowledge.
Ask any Coast Guard man or woman and any Marine about Douglas Munro and you will instantly be taken back to the fateful day in 1942 when a Coast Guardsman gave his life so a detachment of Marines might live. To a woman or man, each will recite Munro’s last words to his best friend, Ray Evans, “Did they get off?” In many ways, Munro’s sacrifice is at the very core of the close relationship between the two services. And, all who hear Munro’s story instantly understand the bond between American brothers and sisters in arms and the true meaning of service to nation.
“Raymond Evans’ memory, character and legacy is a part of our Coast Guard culture,” said Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft. “Nothing could be more fitting than to commission a fast response cutter in his name – his spirit will live on in the Coast Guard Cutter Raymond Evans.”
The dedication and character of the men and women of the U.S. Coast Guard provide inspiration for many across the nation. Some of the most inspired are Coast Guard artists who belong to the Coast Guard Art Program. Whether sculptor or painter, these select artists create works of art that tell the story of the service’s missions, heroes and history. This week, the Coast Guard Art Program will hold its inaugural exhibition of the 2014 collection at the Salmagundi Club in New York City. Today, we feature three members of the Coast Guard Art Program who have been inspired by the Coast Guard’s missions and people: James Consor, Tyson Snow and Karen Loew.