Throughout our nation’s history, men of extraordinary courage have risen to protect our freedom and values; the most conspicuous such displays are awarded with the Medal of Honor. Yet, in the Coast Guard’s 231-years history only one Coast Guardsman has received our nation’s highest award for valor. This is the story of Signalman 1st Class Douglas A. Munro and his heroism in the Battle of Guadalcanal.


The Gold Dust Twins

Munro was born on October 11, 1919, in Vancouver, British Columbia. His family moved to the United States in 1922, settling in South Cle Elum, Washington. 

Douglas Munro Coast Guard MOH
Douglas Munro in a photo taken around 1940. (U.S. Coast Guard)

In high school, Douglas was actively involved in the Boy Scouts, the high school’s Drum and Bugle Corps, and was a member of the wrestling team. After graduating from high school he enrolled in the Central Washington College of Education.