Joseph Toahty, half Pawnee and half Kiowa Indian, joined the Coast Guard in 1941. He was the first Pawnee Indian to go to sea, the first Native American to participate in a U.S. naval offensive operation and the first to set foot in enemy territory during the World War II.
Today we reflect on the 75th anniversary of the attack on Guadalcanal and the heroic efforts of Signalman First Class 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.
Coast Guard personnel serving at Guadalcanal received dozens of medals for heroism and devotion to duty, making the island campaign one of the most honored Coast Guard combat operations in service history. Coast Guardsmen like Robert Canavan lived up to the service’s core values of honor, respect and devotion to duty. Canavan was a member of the long blue line and returned to his hometown of Chicago after surviving one of the greatest tests of luck and physical endurance in the annals of Coast Guard history
Every year in April, we commemorate the Month of the Military Child, recognizing military children whose resilience, commitment and sacrifices help make their parents’ service to our nation possible. Let us not only honor the current generation of military children, but let’s honor them all. What follows is a blog post written by the daughter of the late Chief Warrant Officer Frederick Mann, a WWII veteran and Silver Star recipient for his heroic actions at Guadalcanal.
If any battle marked the turning point of World War II in the Pacific, most experts agree that the six-month land, sea and air battle for Guadalcanal was the one. American naval strategists drew a line in the sand at Guadalcanal because enemy aircraft flying from that island could cut-off Allied supply lines to Australia. During the Guadalcanal offensive, the U.S. Coast Guard served an important role through its specialties in maritime transport, amphibious landing and small boat operations. On ‘the Canal,’ the Coast Guard worked seamlessly with its U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps counterparts and, for the first time in its history, commanded and manned a U.S. Naval Operating Base, or NOB. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Dwight Hodge Dexter commanded NOB “Cactus,” the code name for Guadalcanal’s naval base.
I know my children grew up safe because of the sacrifices made by servicemembers. We lead these bright shiny lives of freedom, and sometimes we need to take a moment and thank those who make it possible.
Ray Evans was a writer, a self-proclaimed wordsmith, high school basketball and football player with a glass jaw and no affinity for boxing. He was also a Coast Guard hero and a great friend to the late Douglas Munro.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Travis Connick at Station Los Angeles – Long Beach, Calif. U.S. Coast Guard photo. Written by Lt. Jodie Knox. Whenever a response boat leaves the pier – whether it’s for routine training, a security patrol or rescue mission – Coast Guard coxswains are the men and women in charge. A coxswain
It was baptism by fire for USS Callaway as she landed troops at Kwajalein on Jan. 31, 1944. Just months before, Callaway had set sail from her homeport of Norfolk, Va. After embarking Marines in San Diego the ship left for the Pacific and performed their first of several assault landings.