Coast Guard slighted at Pentagon's Hall of Heroes

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by LineInTheSand, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006 5-Year Member

    Nov 25, 2007
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    When I was in middle school I visited Washington, DC. My father worked with a woman whose mother was an Assistant Secretary of Defense. We were given a nice long tour by a sailor and an Army officer. On that tour we stopped by the Hall of Heroes, an area in the Pentagon dedicated to all who have received the Medal of Honor.

    My work now takes me to the Pentagon often. About two weeks ago I asked about the location of the "Medal of Honor area" and was directed to the "Hall of Heroes". It's a nicely done display, often used for retirements and promotion ceremonies (nice lighting, stage, etc). While it was changed greatly since I had seen it last, I wondered around the room until I came across what I was looking for:

    Douglas A. Munro, Signalman First Class, USCG.

    Good SM1 Munro, the hero of the Coast Guard was present. SM1 Munro saved over 50 U.S. Marines during WWII, putting his Higgins boat between the Marines and enemy Japanese fire. SM1 Munro was killed in the process but his last words were very tell "Did they all make it off?"

    Well, happy I found SM1 Munro's name, I headed out the door looked up to the Hall of Heroes entrance and noticed one shield missing. Yes, the shields of the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force....even Department of Defense were present, but no Coast Guard. After some leg work, I found the office of someone on the committee that oversees the Pentagon displays. She was out, but I was informed that a Coast Guardsman had brought this up before, and the reasoning....according to them, the Coast Guard fell under the Dept. of the Navy at the time and therefore was part of the Navy. Yes, by executive order of the President, the Coast Guard did fall under the Dept. of the Navy during WWII, BUT that does not mean the Coast Guard IS part of the Navy. Coasties wore their own uniforms during the entire war. The reasoning given by this person could also be applied to the U.S. Marine Corps, which also falls under the Dept. of the Navy...ALL THE TIME, however their shield was present.

    When I returned to the office, I notified a few people, including our CG Historian and fired off an email, containing the citation from President Franklin Roosevelt for "Douglas Arthur Munro, Signalman First Class, United States Coast Guard." Even the Navy press release referred to Douglas Munro as a "Coast Guardsman".

    On top of that the Proclamation from the Governor of Washington (yes, the state) for "Douglas Munro Memorial Day" SM1 Munro was referred to as a Coast Guardsman last week.

    I'm going over information EVERY Coast Guardsman knows, from a first day recruit to the Commandant of the Coast Guard.
  2. Sandbar

    Sandbar 5-Year Member

    Feb 27, 2009
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    Good for you LITS for addressing this. Sometimes the Navy likes to forget the Coast Guard brethren. It's a service thing. We all think our branch is the best.
    I know you already know the contributions the Coast Guard made in WWII.
    My father served in the Coast Guard in the Pacific during WWII. Although I did not follow in his footsteps I want to share some information with the members. Many people don't know that at the outbreak of WWII as we were planning the invasion of the Pacific Islands the Navy was a deep blue water Navy. The Coast Guard was the only branch that had the ability to effectively operate small inshore craft. This task was absolutely vital to accomplishing our goals in the Pacific as all invasions were amphibious. For example, an investigation of the facts at the battle of Saipan would reveal that if it were not for the Coast Guard team operating the LCVP searching the shoals for a sea lane through the coral reef under heavy enemy fire the battle of Saipan could have turned out differently. Thus the reason the Coast Guard maned all APA's in the Pacific.
    I go on the record and state each branch of the United States Military is the best branch. Each branch is the very best at what mission it prepares for.
    The DOD should be ashamed of its reasoning. The Coast Guard has no lesser part in the missions it performs each and every day. It certainly played no lesser part in the missions it carried out during WWII. I thank you for your service.

    Semper Paratus
    Anchors Aweigh
  3. kilovictorhotel

    kilovictorhotel 5-Year Member

    Sep 29, 2008
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    Outstanding LITS.....keep us posted on the outcome. Well Done!!!!

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